In the thick of a disease outbreak, the line between panic and preparedness can feel perilously thin.

For individuals living with comorbidities like chronic lung and immunodeficiency diseases, the new coronavirus is deadly. To protect them, certain precautions are, indeed, necessary, including the lockdowns enforced by the Chinese government and the temporary travel restrictions placed in the United States and elsewhere.

For those who don’t fall into that category, there is little reason to fear—and a lot of evidence to suggest that even if infection occurs, chances of recovery are high. So far, the mortality rate outside Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus, has remained below 1 percent. But the anxiety and panic induced by the disease seem as contagious as the disease itself, depleting the surgical mask supply of pharmacies worldwide.

Read the full article on Psychology Today

Originally posted on Psychology Today (February 14, 2020)