How to combat and calm coronavirus COVID-19 anxiety

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With the number of reported cases of coronavirus rising in the U.S. there is a sentiment of caution, for some even worry, around catching the virus known as COVID-19.

Counselor Mark Sigmund of Retreat Behavioral Health says it's easy to fall into anxiety.

"It's really important to come back down to earth, look at the data and to take precautions," says Sigmund.

So how can you "come back to earth" and help quell those fears? Arm yourself with knowledge.

"You have to challenge the thoughts with 'catastrophizing' and blowing things up in your head. It's easy to go down that road but you have to challenge it. You have to look at the data," says Sigmund.

The data shows that here in the U.S. the flu is much more rampant and deadly.

That is comforting to Vinny Oliva of Graduate Hospital.

"How many people of died (of coronavirus) in the United States so far? You know how many people die of the flu every year? That's why I'm not so worried about it," says Oliva.

"When you don't have all the facts that's when you become anxious. It's just one of those things where we feel like we don't know enough about it and this is what's causing the anxiety," says Joanne Spigonardo of Havertown.

If you do feel that your anxiety is rising Counselor Mark Sigmund says to focus on breathing deeply. Also practice mindfulness by identifying your senses; what you can see, touch, feel and hear.
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