Academics about the Pandemic

It has been a rollercoaster.

Correction. It is a rollercoaster. My life, that is.

I have spoken to a few people who have echoed similar words: “I’ve stopped watching the news.”

I can understand that because it’s hard to see the word “coronavirus or COVID-19” run across the television screen day and night with the numbers splattered for us to count how many people have died in a specific week. I, too, have stopped watching the national news because my anxiety rises.

man in gray sweater covering his face with face mask
Photo by Gustavo Fring on

Oh, but don’t let me get started on Trump’s idiotic comments during his daily briefings! He is not a doctor, nor is he a leader. What were his last comments? Something about “ingesting disinfectant…”

And the world rolls its eyes and sinks into a more profound depression.

I have nightmares too. I wake up in the middle of the night, my heart pounding, and the only way for me to go back to sleep is to pray and take deep breaths. I had a nightmare one night, and in this nightmare, I whispered that if I called out to my mother, whatever was after me would flee. I did. I called out to my mother like I used to do when I was a child, and she didn’t come to me. I awoke to my dog, Chuy, sitting up and staring at me.

Johns Hopkins Medicine is probably the top of the line medical universities, and their website created an excellent COVID-19 informational site. It provides true and false statements and a symptom checker. Johns Hopkins provides hyperlinks such as protecting myself and others, social and physical distancing and self-quarantine, practicing wellness; and, a link about COVID-19 stress.

Ah! There’s the missing link!

I read through the article by Dr. Joseph F. McGuire, a psychologist from Johns Hopkins, which provided guidance (mostly for parents about talking to their children) to rely on information about COVID-19 from reliable and credible sources such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The World Health Organization. McGuire was quoted, “‘Knowledge and preparation can help reduce feelings of panic.'”


A caveat to all of this, according to McGuire, is to manage stress about COVID-19 by limiting computer screen time and media exposure. Well, I’m a teacher, and we are online now that school buildings are closed – that piece of advice is not helpful; however, I have to be mindful, still, about how much I am on my laptop. I am slowly creating a lovely outdoor space on my patio to relax and enjoy the sun and air, but I must be cognizant of my time and provide breaks for myself.

“Take care of yourself, Lisa.” That phrase should be on a t-shirt for me to wear.

And, to you, my readers, please take care of yourself. Please be informed and educated! Don’t make irrational decisions based on half-truths and false statements. Read it for yourself. I remember my parents always told me, “don’t let the preacher be the one to tell you what’s in the Bible, read it for yourself!”

Here are the links to keep you informed.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Stressed about Coronavirus?

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Author: L.S. Watson

Hi. My name is L.S. Watson, and I'm an English teacher at a charter high school. I enjoy traveling (my favorite places are Rome and Paris), writing poetry, and watching documentaries. I have a lovable yet stubborn Yorkie-Poo named Chuy.

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