Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming. Part of it is the uncertainty, not knowing what will happen next. Part of it is seeing repeated images or hearing repeated reports about the outbreak in the media. The COVID-19 illness is particularly intense in this regard. Not only is the virus constantly in the news but the responses at the federal, state, and even college levels are changing as new information develops and we continue to take steps to ensure the health and safety of staff and students.
Things you can do to support yourself:
- Take care of your body. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Stay as even-keeled and tranquil as you can. Periodically take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
- Connect with others through social networks. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a co-worker, friend, or family member. Build a support system and maintain healthy relationships.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
Remember, it is not only okay to stay home if you are not feeling well, it is an obligation in this unusual time. Work can wait. Here are some ways you can protect yourself and those around you now:
- Are you exhibiting symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath)? Stay home when sick.
- Remain at home until fever has been gone for a least 24 to 48 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing.
- Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve.
- Make sure you have adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and trash cans.
- Wash hands frequently.
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces
If you have traveled to or through an area with known community transmission (Level 3 travel risk according to the CDC), please notify your supervisor immediately.
Also, if you have known or suspected contact with affected individuals, please stay home and notify your direct supervisor immediately.
Finally, we do understand that as we continue to take precautions and evaluate thresholds, some of you may still not feel safe. Older adults or people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems are considered to be at higher risk for serious complications from this virus. If you fall within these groups OR just feel anxious or unsafe, please see Resa Hess in HR to discuss options available to you such as personal leave or requesting a reasonable accommodation. Your safety and well-being is a priority.
As instructional activities shift to online or alternative environments, please keep in close contact with your professors for the most up-to-date information regarding your own courses.