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On Physical and Mental Health

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Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

The coronavirus has taken hold of the world. It's what everyone talks about. Stock markets are falling. People are stocking up on toilet roll and cash. It feels in some ways like the end of the world. In many other ways, nothing changed. The kids are going to school (so far), stores and restaurants are open, and people are trying to live their lives.

It feels oddly surreal, not just because it is, but mainly because I'm not in a bunker hyperventilating. I'm an anxious person, and I tend to have worst-case scenarios about everything. I wrote a little bit about it before. Usually, I try to rein the anxiety in because otherwise, I only spiral into my head. And that's not helping anyone.

I'm not an expert on infectious diseases, but I have some experience with anxiety. I noticed that when I sit around and wait, I get more anxious. A few weeks ago, I was at a hospital getting looked at for a breast tumour which I don't have. I knew I didn't have one, because the doctor who sent me to do the tests said it's just in case. Also, the expert doctor who saw me first at the hospital said there's nothing there, but I should do the ultrasound just to see. But I had to wait in the waiting room (for a reasonable amount of time, mind you), and when I sit around and wait I get in my head.

Last week, I went to do the "Life in the UK" test which I passed. I knew I would pass because it's not a difficult test. But after I left the exam room and I was waiting for my results, I suddenly panicked. What if I didn't pass? (I'll retake the exam in three days). What if I never pass? (Really?) What if I can't stay here, in this city that stole my heart and is hiding it in an ally with posh cafes and cobblestones somewhere? (Not going to happen).

Here's what I'm trying to say. Sitting around and waiting and doing nothing breeds anxiety. I'm not saying we shouldn't close schools (maybe we should, but I trust the experts' advice on that one) or that we should keep living as usual--some adaptations have to take place, and they are all eloquently explained in this article. But panicking is not helping. So, I plan to take advantage of the semi-dry weather and go outside as much as possible (no virus in the open air, people) and write as much as I can. And try to stay calm.


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