There have been multiple campaigns going around, advertising the need to stay home. The reason why it is so important is to stop the spread COVID-19. 

By staying at home, you are protecting yourself but most importantly, you are protecting the people you come home to; the lady who scans your items at the supermarket; the nice neighbour who always waves at you when you go outside. You are not only protecting nurses and doctors who won’t see their families for weeks to keep them safe, but you are also protecting the NHS and the resources available as well. Staying at home is no longer just advice from health professionals or politicians – it is your duty as part of a community.

However, it is also true that the circumstances we are under can get overwhelming. Every few minutes new information comes out about the virus, symptoms, increasing number of victims and of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Then, the content played on television seems to only revolve around the pandemic and its repercussions on the global economy – which is as worrying. Some start realising the situation goes beyond their control and that makes them restless. Overall, it can be a little too much.

So, understandably, people tend to turn to things they can control, such as their pantry’s stock. We have all seen the disturbing images of empty supermarket shelves, overflowing shopping carts and never-ending lines. Those shoppers look like they are preparing for the apocalypse that Sci-fi movies kept announcing and yet never came. Also, it is a reckless and selfish way of shopping, as taking absurd amounts of a single product means that other people won’t even have the chance to take a single item. Moreover, these massive clearances happening in supermarkets across the country are strongly motivated by fear and misinformation. So, if you are feeling uneasy or worried in any way, educate yourself – look for good information about whatever is making you feel overwhelmed. The less you know about this pandemic, the scarier it seems.

Nevertheless, finding trustworthy sources can be tricky. Many media outlets and social media platforms are feeding society scary and often false information and advice. The best option to get information and health advice from professionals is the NHS or the World Health Organisation website (click the links to know more).

These are hard, unprecedented and unpredictable times and being up to date and aware of the world around us is fundamental. However, we also need to allow ourselves time to breathe and not get sucked into it. Spending all day, every day at home can prove itself to be emotionally, physically and psychologically challenging. Thus, we need to stay focused and keep on top of our obligations (university, work, …) and try as much as we can to adapt our normal routines to these new circumstances. Then, it is also important that we stay healthy: follow the NHS more specific guidelines, but also eat good food and have good nights of sleep. Don’t forget to keep spare time to invest in things that make you feel happy, such as painting, singing, working out, etc. And, finally, this could be a good opportunity to spend quality time with the people you live with play games, tell jokes or have good conversations.