By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
People, please don’t make fun of people who are scared. People are scared, and people who are scared respond in a variety of ways, and in this case, one of them is panic buying and another one is hoarding. They are attempting to protect themselves, and we do not know what other personal or family traumas may be reactivated within – which can contribute to unusually high levels of fear.
That said, this is apart from the fact that some people may be also shopping for elderly family, friends and neighbors as well as themselves, for group homes or other group settings, or people who may otherwise not have means or funds to get out and shop or are health compromised, or people who are using their available funds now, because they may be without jobs in a few weeks.
One of the best things that we can do for each other is to steady ourselves and support each other to stay calm, alert and present and to validate others’ feelings, even if they are not their own feelings, and encourage people to make wise decisions for themselves, their health and their communities. I have decided that I will be staying indoors for the next two weeks and working from home and reevaluate my plan at the end of the two that time.
Bottom line: Please be kind. Don’t make fun of people for their reactions, don’t shame or lecture people. Look to how you can help and be supportive.
Next bottom line: This is serious. Read the below article and a quote from an Italian mired in the pain of the coronavirus: ”What has happened in Italy shows that less-than-urgent appeals to the public by the government to slightly change habits regarding social interactions aren’t enough when the terrible outcomes they are designed to prevent are not yet apparent; when they become evident, it’s generally too late to act. I and many other Italians just didn’t see the need to change our routines for a threat we could not see.” Read more here.
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Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.