Does the brand new coronavirus from China make you just a little anxious? How involved ought to we be? Is it an actual risk or principally hype? In right now’s podcast, Dr. John Grohol, founder and editor-in-chief of, explains what the coronavirus is, the way it compares to the flu and why it appears to have hit the panic button in lots of people. He gives tricks to keep away from getting sick usually, and importantly, provides recommendation on the way to preserve our anxiousness ranges in verify with regards to new illness outbreaks, particularly in how we search data from the media.

If you happen to’d wish to be taught extra concerning the coronavirus and the way to cope with “new illness” anxiousness, tune in for a fantastic dialogue.


Visitor data for ‘Dr. John- Coronavirus Anxiety’ Podcast Episode

John M. Grohol, Psy.D. is a pioneer in on-line psychological well being and psychology. Recognizing the tutorial and social potential of the Web in 1995, Dr. Grohol has remodeled the way in which folks may entry psychological well being and psychology sources on-line. Pre-dating the Nationwide Institute for Psychological Well being and psychological well being advocacy organizations, Dr. Grohol was the primary to publish the diagnostic standards for frequent psychological issues, comparable to despair, bipolar dysfunction and schizophrenia. His management has helped to interrupt down the limitations of stigma typically related to psychological well being considerations, bringing trusted sources and help communities to the Web.

He has labored tirelessly as a affected person advocate to enhance the standard of knowledge obtainable for psychological well being sufferers, highlighting high quality psychological well being sources, and constructing protected, personal help communities and social networks in quite a few well being subjects.

About The Psych Central Podcast Host

Gabe Howard is an award-winning author and speaker who lives with bipolar dysfunction. He’s the creator of the favored guide, Psychological Sickness is an Asshole and different Observations, obtainable from Amazon; signed copies are additionally obtainable instantly from the creator. To be taught extra about Gabe, please go to his web site,

Pc Generated Transcript for ‘Dr. John- Coronavirus AnxietyEpisode

Editor’s Be aware: Please be aware that this transcript has been laptop generated and due to this fact could comprise inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thanks.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Psych Central Podcast, the place visitor consultants within the discipline of psychology and psychological well being share thought-provoking data utilizing plain, on a regular basis language. Right here’s your host, Gabe Howard.

Gabe Howard: Howdy, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of The Psych Central Podcast. Calling into the present right now, we’ve Dr. John Grohol, founder and editor in chief of Dr. Grohol, welcome to the present.

Dr. John Grohol: At all times a pleasure to be with you, Gabe.

Gabe Howard: I’m glad that you just’re right here since you at all times have leading edge data, you realize, stuff that makes the information. It’s very well timed and related. And there’s nothing extra well timed and related proper now than the coronavirus and the anxiousness that it’s inflicting folks, actually everywhere in the world, however particularly in America. So I’m excited to speak to you about that, John.

Dr. John Grohol: Yeah, I’m excited to speak to you as effectively and our viewers about this outbreak. As a result of I do know it’s been overrated within the media just a little bit and suppose lots of people have a good quantity of hysteria and are just a little scared about what this virus means.

Gabe Howard: I think about lots of people are acquainted with coronavirus, however are you able to give us type of the Reader’s Digest model of what precisely the coronavirus is?

Dr. John Grohol: Certain, it’s a sort of virus that spreads from animals to people by way of transmission that’s sometimes airborne or by means of one thing like a sneeze or a cough as soon as it’s amongst people. What makes it troublesome is that there is no such thing as a vaccine for it. And the therapy is type of just like the therapy for the flu within the sense that we don’t actually have a selected focused therapy to assist folks with the virus itself presently. Doesn’t imply that scientists aren’t engaged on potential vaccine or therapy for coronavirus, for this explicit pressure of it. However it does imply that persons are just a little afraid as a result of it doesn’t have an apparent fast therapy or a vaccine.

Gabe Howard: These are all actually good causes to be involved, and I can see why these causes alone could cause any person’s anxiousness. However for those who have a look at the information cycle, total cities in China have been quarantined. There’s journey restrictions all through the world. And naturally, you’re taking into the truth that it’s an unknown well being disaster and naturally, phrases like disaster, epidemic. And I believe all of that is contributing to why persons are reacting in such a manner. Do you suppose that’s true?

Dr. John Grohol: Sure, I believe it’s true, however we additionally should take a step again and perceive why these occasions are happening. Why are total cities being quarantined? And that’s for an excellent public well being cause. It’s to maintain individuals who could have already unfold the virus unknowingly to different folks all in the identical geographic location. In order that they don’t unfold it any additional than what it has already gone. So public well being officers take precautions, comparable to quarantining a whole metropolis to cease the unfold of a virus, and particularly essential when the virus is well transmittable as it seems that this pressure of coronavirus is. So the truth that public well being officers in China and different locations on the planet are quarantining total cities is definitely an excellent factor. It helps cut back and forestall the unfold of the virus to a better magnitude than in any other case could be current. So it sounds actually scary. I get that. You don’t actually hear about folks quarantining a complete metropolis in the USA or in some nation in Europe, Western Europe. However from a public well being perspective, it’s truly an excellent factor and it’s a really proactive step to take. Doesn’t imply that the persons are lower off from all communication with the skin world. It’s not like a scary Hollywood film kind of quarantine. It truly simply signifies that journey is severely restricted out and in of that metropolis. In fact, this competes with China’s current crackdown on Web communications. So, you realize, you set the 2 collectively and also you get a state of affairs the place we’re not getting as a lot data as we want about issues like how many individuals are literally contaminated and whatnot in China. However we’re getting, public well being officers are getting adequate data wherein to proceed work on therapy and vaccines and understanding the unfold of the virus. 

Gabe Howard: Now, Dr. Grohol, you may have, I don’t wish to name it a 4 step approach to deal with concern and handle the coronavirus anxiousness, however you do have 4 items of knowledge for us, and it begins with not inflating the precise threat.

Dr. John Grohol: Yeah, let’s step again for a second and acknowledge, look, being scared, being anxious about what’s going on over in China and slowly spreading in different elements of the world is totally a pure response to what’s taking place. I don’t wish to decrease the truth that folks have anxiousness and do have concern about what the coronavirus is and its unfold. However I additionally wish to try to put that into some type of context. I really feel like anxiousness and concern can simply run away with us once we don’t have a look at the info on the bottom, once we don’t reply the irrational with some rational responses about what we all know right now. Doesn’t imply that the state of affairs couldn’t change for the more serious, or for the higher, sooner or later. It simply signifies that we should always base our responses and our fears as a lot as potential on actuality. I believe it simply leads us to have a happier, more healthy life if we try to do this as typically as potential in any a part of our lives, not simply speaking concerning the coronavirus, so. So, certainly, the very first thing is, we don’t wish to inflate the chance. We don’t wish to overemphasize the influence of what the coronavirus has executed up to now and what it seems to be prefer it’s more likely to do.

Gabe Howard: And John, you may have some stats for us with regards to the coronavirus vs. the extraordinary flu, and clearly we’re not panicked concerning the extraordinary flu. Are you able to give us these stats to type of put it in just a little additional context?

Dr. John Grohol: You guess. We have now to remember the fact that issues that have been extraordinary, just like the seasonal flu that comes round yearly, we take type of without any consideration and we overlook how a lot of an influence it makes in folks’s lives. So, as an example, the seasonal flu is accountable up to now, simply this season, fifteen million folks have been contaminated in the USA. Of these 15 million folks, 100 and forty thousand folks have needed to be hospitalized due to their flu an infection. And it’s resulted in an astounding over eight thousand deaths. Eight thousand folks have died from the seasonal flu in the USA for this season. And it doesn’t even make the headlines of any type of information report, as a result of that is extraordinary. That is what occurs each season. We have now tens of millions of infections yearly of the seasonal flu. And most of these deaths come about not as a result of the flu is so horrible, though for those who ever get the flu, you realize, it may be fairly, fairly dangerous. However due to immuno-compromised people, individuals who have already got an immune system that isn’t functioning correctly due to an current sickness comparable to most cancers or any variety of different causes. So many of the deaths are occurring in folks whose immune system is already not effectively functioning. And I simply wish to say one last item about understanding the chance and never inflating it. Evaluate the seasonal flu with what we find out about this pressure of coronavirus right now, just below seventeen thousand 5 hundred infections and 300 and sixty two deaths as of right now. It seems that the dying fee is round 2 p.c. Now, that’s a lot increased than the dying fee of the seasonal flu, don’t get me incorrect. However it’s additionally not a stunning or overly regarding quantity. I imply, one thing to pay attention to. However a 2 p.c dying fee is one thing that most individuals can perceive shouldn’t be going to come back out and simply assault you and trigger your dying for those who get even the coronavirus, so.

Gabe Howard: We’ll be proper again after these messages.

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Gabe Howard: We’re again discussing coronavirus anxiousness with Dr. John Grohol. John, step two for managing the anxiousness brought on by the coronavirus is to take regular, wholesome precautions.

Dr. John Grohol: Completely, this coronavirus pressure is unfold in the identical manner that seasonal flu is unfold, apparently, and that simply signifies that it seems to be unfold by means of direct contact, pores and skin to pores and skin, touching folks’s fingers, touching folks’s faces or whatnot, and thru issues like cough or sneeze. So the traditional, on a regular basis precautions that you’d soak up any type of chilly season, flu season, are what you’ll take for the coronavirus. You don’t must do something greater than what it is best to already be doing. And a type of fundamental issues that everybody must be doing and that we merely don’t in all probability do sufficient of is to commonly wash our fingers all through the day. Particularly for those who exit of the home, you go exterior of your office, you go seize a chew to eat, you’re touching door handles. You’re touching all kinds of different issues that individuals have touched. And I can see the place it’s simple to start out feeling just a little paranoid about, hey, you realize, a thousand folks have touched this door deal with, and I’ve simply touched it. And possibly I’ve coronavirus. However the best factor you are able to do is to clean your fingers after that. So whenever you exit on the planet and also you come again dwelling, wash your fingers. Washing your fingers appropriately, too. So many individuals are simply working their fingers beneath a faucet for 10 seconds and possibly not even with cleaning soap. That’s not washing your fingers. That’s simply getting your fingers moist. Getting your fingers moist doesn’t defend them from germs. Washing them, singing or saying, quietly to your self and inside your head, the ABC track, A B C D E F G, and going by means of that entire track, that’s about how lengthy it ought to take so that you can wash your fingers completely.

Dr. John Grohol: Use cleaning soap, lather up with heat to sizzling water, doesn’t should be scalding sizzling like lots of people suppose. Heat water works completely superb. The primary factor is to try to be thorough about it. And simply to try to get into the behavior of doing it extra commonly. Some folks, they suppose, I take a bathe as soon as a day, that’s ok. It could be, however for those who actually wish to simply be just a little bit more healthy and defend your self towards seasonal flu and one thing just like the pressure of the coronavirus, getting extra per hand-washing could be step. The opposite type of factor I might additionally emphasize beneath taking regular wholesome precautions is simply doing the sorts of issues that we must be doing anyway, getting evening’s sleep, consuming a principally nutritious diet as a lot as potential, an everyday train. Principally, you’re seeking to preserve your immune system in form and performing at 100 p.c relatively than 50 p.c or 70 p.c. It’s the immune system that’s your physique’s finest safety towards seasonal flu, towards coronavirus. And for those who’re wholesome usually, your physique goes to have a a lot simpler time preventing off these infections than when your physique is already compromised, your immune system is already compromised.

Gabe Howard: And in equity, that is one thing that we must be doing all 12 months spherical. I do know one of many issues that you just wrote in your article was partaking in common train even within the winter. I took a pause for that as a result of I assumed, do folks consider that you just don’t must care for your physique and your well being as a result of it’s chilly exterior?

Dr. John Grohol: I believe what occurs is that if folks have a principally out of doors routine for his or her train after which the winter comes, they don’t at all times essentially have an automated indoor routine for the winter months, and particularly for the individuals who don’t go to the gymnasium. For individuals who don’t possibly subscribe to a standard type of train routine on a every day or weekly foundation, which might be most People. So within the winter, I believe it’s not unusual for folks to type of take it simple, get just a little lazy within the train space. And I believe their well being usually in all probability suffers just a little bit due to that. And so it’s only a good reminder that even within the winter months, you have to be partaking in that type of common train that’s really helpful for everybody.

Gabe Howard: John, thanks a lot. Now, your third coping mechanism for anxiousness brought on by the coronavirus is to keep away from the overconsumption of media. That’s very attention-grabbing to me as a result of it type of sounds such as you’re saying, hey, ignore that that is taking place, however that’s not what you’re saying. However I believe that typically that’s what folks hear whenever you and different consultants say, you realize, look, flip off the TV. Take note of one thing else. Are you able to speak about that for a couple of?

Dr. John Grohol: Yeah, certain factor. I believe we dwell in a time proper now the place consumption of media, consumption of what’s going on on the planet and what’s vying for our consideration, has by no means been increased. And that persons are pushing out updates and alerts and new articles about issues on such a continuing foundation that we undoubtedly get fatigue from all of the alerts and all the data. And it’s simple to really feel overwhelmed by all of it. I haven’t met an individual who hasn’t skilled that no less than as soon as with their social media consumption or with simply even on a regular basis information consumption. So we’ve to remember the scientists are working tremendous laborious time beyond regulation, lengthy nights. There are individuals who have devoted their total lives to understanding illness outbreaks like this, and we’ve to belief that they’re doing their finest to get the work executed, to get the job executed. And that’s going to take time. Science isn’t fast. It doesn’t present prompt solutions. And at this level, with the quarantines in place and with the journey restrictions in place from different nations, I really feel like public well being officers have in all probability executed just about all that they’ll do to try to preserve this outbreak as small as potential. And whether or not it’s going to develop into lots of of 1000’s and even tens of millions, solely time will inform. And there’s nothing anybody can do about it, fairly frankly. So getting, you realize, hour-by-hour updates and even every day updates about what’s the unfold, the place are the numbers right now? Except you’re a scientist working on this discipline, it’s in all probability overkill for many extraordinary folks. I might simply recommend type of dialing it again just a little bit when it comes to your consumption of this explicit information story, as a result of it’s taking place. It’s one thing that it is best to preserve up to date on, however not on an hourly and even every day foundation. I believe as soon as every week for most individuals could be adequate.

Gabe Howard: Now, John, in case you are any person that desires the every day data, for no matter cause, I do know there’s one thing to be stated about the place you get this data. What recommendation do you may have for folks on the place to get well timed, correct data with out among the anxiousness scary parts of some conventional information tales and information shops?

Dr. John Grohol: So one nice useful resource for studying extra and type of maintaining updated on the coronavirus is the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, the CDC, a trusted U.S. authorities useful resource that has the most recent data updates about what the unfold of the virus is and what we find out about it.

Gabe Howard: John, that’s wonderful, thanks very a lot. Now, your fourth coping tip is definitely a variety of coping ideas all wrapped into one. Are you able to speak about that for a second?

Dr. John Grohol: I believe one of many issues we typically overlook is that we’ve already geared up ourselves with some skills and talent units from previous experiences. So, each time we undergo one thing in our lives, we be taught one thing from it if we take a couple of minutes to have a look at it and analyze and perceive what it was that occasion was attempting to show us. So, all of us have a set of coping expertise, whether or not we understand it or not. And whenever you’re beneath elevated stress or anxiousness otherwise you’re petrified of the unknown, these are excellent instances to tug out these previous coping expertise and to place them into use for the present state of affairs. And, you realize, every particular person’s coping talent set goes to be completely different. Not everyone likes to train. Not everyone likes reaching out to a trusted good friend or member of the family to speak by means of their anxiousness. So, it’s important to use and know what the coping expertise that give you the results you want are. And now’s the time to make use of them. It might be a mindfulness or meditation approach. It’s mainly something that you just’ve used up to now that appears to have labored for you, that’s helped you cope with a anxious time in your life. All these sorts of expertise you possibly can put into use in your anxiousness, in your concern about this coronavirus, and belief that they’re in all probability going to work once more on this state of affairs. That’s why you flip to them within the first place. So, use your previous coping expertise.

Gabe Howard: John, thanks a lot for serving to us by means of this and giving us nice data. Do you may have another takeaways for our listeners earlier than we shut?

Dr. John Grohol: Yeah, I might refer folks to the weblog entry that I wrote about this subject. It has extra hyperlinks and data to how one can preserve your self updated with unbiased on-the-ground data from the World Well being Group, from the CDC. And for those who’re actually into knowledge and numbers, there’s even a fantastic visualization graphic from Johns Hopkins that type of explains in a really visible presentation precisely the place the vast majority of this outbreak is happening. Not surprisingly, it’s all in China. And because it grows, if it grows, you possibly can type of preserve monitor of it. The primary factor is to not blow this out of proportion. Maintain issues in perspective that, as of right now, so far as we all know, this outbreak shouldn’t be ensuing within the type of sheer variety of deaths that even the seasonal flu has. And hopefully that can, that type of trajectory will proceed. We are able to solely hope. However within the meantime, there’s no cause to type of be overly involved or to let our fears get the higher of us and take us on a curler coaster experience of hysteria.

Gabe Howard: And naturally, it’s at all times finest to clean your fingers with cleaning soap and heat water whereas singing the alphabet track.

Dr. John Grohol: Sure. I can not emphasize that sufficient. If extra folks did that, they’d in all probability get much less colds and flus within the first place. And public well being officers simply like to remind folks to do this. And there’s an excellent cause for it as a result of it really works.

Gabe Howard: Dr. Grohol, thanks a lot for being with us.

Dr. John Grohol: My pleasure. Anytime, Gabe.

Gabe Howard: And thanks to our listeners as effectively. Bear in mind, wherever you downloaded this podcast, we’d like you to rank, evaluate and subscribe. We have now a non-public Fb group you could share concepts and get the most recent present updates. Simply head over to And eventually, you may get one week of free, handy, reasonably priced, personal on-line counselling anytime, anyplace, just by visiting We’ll see everybody subsequent week.

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