Home Fitness Mass Quarantine May Spark Irrational Fear, Anxiety

Mass Quarantine May Spark Irrational Fear, Anxiety


With a brand new virus, “there is uncertainty, and that’s what drives anxiety,” she added.

Lessons From SARS

“All anxiety is certainly not bad,” Neda Gould, PhD, scientific psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, instructed Medscape Medical News.

“Some anxiety or fear can be a good motivator for people to become aware and make necessary changes, but it shouldn’t interfere with our lives,” she mentioned.

David McKeown, MD, who authored an opinion piece within the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail final week, famous that it is vital to acknowledge {that a} communicable illness epidemic will be each a organic and sociologic occasion.

McKeown, who served as Toronto’s medical officer of well being from 2004 to 2016, in the course of the SARS (extreme acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in Toronto, is aware of firsthand how folks could develop an irrational concern of individuals from the a part of the world the place the virus originated.

When SARS hit Toronto, individuals who seemed to be Asian reported being shunned on public transportation and having hassle hailing cabs, McKeown famous. At the peak of the SARS epidemic, he held a information convention at a once-bustling Chinese restaurant within the neighboring metropolis of Mississauga in an effort to reassure anxious folks that it was totally suitable for eating at such companies.

“In a time of panic, sober reality can become a rare resource,” he mentioned. Yet, communicable-disease epidemics have energy to spark ranges of concern and nervousness which can be “wildly out of proportion” to precise danger, McKeown famous.

Stigma the “Most Pernicious Effect”

The first step in combatting the “other” epidemic is to anticipate and tackle it immediately, McKeown added. “The best prescription is frank and accurate information from credible sources ― and lots of it,” he writes.

Similarly, Wessely and Rubin recommend that the stigma that accompanies mass quarantine is the “most pernicious effect.”

“Previous incidents have seen residents of the affected areas socially shunned, discriminated against in the workplace and their property attacked. Unless active steps are taken to prevent this, the official imposition of a cordon may aggravate such effects. Vigilante-imposed isolation can follow or even run ahead of official quarantine,” they warn.

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