Coping during COVID-19 when not everyone will ‘do the right thing”
As lockdown 6 continues , in addition to hearing updates on the number of people impacted by the virus , the media focuses on stories about those people who are not following the strategies recommended by our health experts.
It is common to react to these stories of people not following the rules with emotions such as frustration, anger, indignation, fear, or sadness. As these can be distressing there are some suggestions and strategies to help you manage your negative reactions and emotions to these stories.
Are people doing “ the right thing”?
Australians have generally shown a high degree of compliance – more than 90% of respondents to a University of NSW survey reported having actively changed their behaviour to stop the spread of the virus to others , despite only 20% perceiving a high risk to their health and 50% not being too worried about the threat of the virus to their own personal health .This indicates that most people are trying to be socially responsible and doing the right thing.
However, the longer the virus continues with flare ups and waves, the more frustrated and exhausted people risk becoming. Small numbers of people are not complying with restrictions, and the media highlights examples of these behaviours.
When we see, hear or read about behaviours of people who are not following the health strategies it is common to experience negative emotions such as frustration, indignation, disappointment , anger or sadness.
Managing our negative emotions during COVID-19.
Managing these negative emotions can be difficult , on top of the myriad of feelings and thoughts that come with the current restrictions. While we have no direct control over other people’s behaviour, but we do have control over own behaviours and emotions.
The link below offers some ideas and suggestions for managing your emotions when you see , hear of, or read about people not following the recommended health strategies .
Seeking Additional Support when needed.
If you feel you are struggling to cope with any aspect of COVID-19 including your reactions examples of people’s non- compliant behaviour, advise and support is available . Your GP can arrange for counselling assistance to appropriate services externally or you can contact the Student Welfare Services team.