Everyone is a bit panicked, uncertain, anxious, and some are holding on to their mental health for dear life during this pandemic. And if you are not feeling like this, then a friend or relative you know probably is.
When we feel desperate and stressed, we are at our most vulnerable and tend to make decisions based on fear and not practicality or science. That makes us targets for scams, schemes, and making rash decisions, and irrational desperate moves because our thought processes are compromised.
You may have noticed more emails from companies that tell you your account is in peril or cut off. Phishing emails they are called. In an uncertain atmosphere, these scams have a higher probability of working.
Now is not the time to make big decisions
Especially financial ones. Your perspective is likely to be warped and because of the fall of the stock market, you might be more on edge. And if you have to make a financial decision, engage others you trust in that process and take your time. The economic or physical health implications of a disaster can send our mental health off the rails and inspire us to make panic buys.
Certain social media platforms such as twitter are engineered to maximize public panic which keeps you glued to that platform, oversaturating your brain and your judgment. The worst is the 24/7 news channels that were created to cash in on your fear. They thrive on terrorist attacks, school shootings, pandemics–anything that has captured collective public attention.
There is nothing good that comes of showing planes crash into twin towers over a thousand times in one day as it happened on cable news in the nineties. The result was PTSD for many who watched.
It’s the goal of these news channels to keep you tuned in and prey on the emotions of fear, desperation and an insatiable desire to know up-to-the-minute information, often which is not vetted.
Everyone wants to be a survivor
No one wants to be the loser. And many news channels imply that those who are well-informed are likely to be the survivor. But oversaturating rarely makes one more informed but rather more desperate. Take the news of one man who took poison because he heard the president mention that the chemical might be a cure or in a future vaccine. That was a fear-based decision that ended his life.
Please make sure you are getting news from several sources that are credible. Do your due diligence. If something triggers a strong emotion, wait until you can calm yourself first and talk with those you trust so you make a rational, informed decision.