Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.
Common symptoms of infection cover respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. These have been well publicised by the National Health Service (NHS) here in the UK, and reported on by various media outlets all over the world for the past several weeks.
It is our duty to keep members of the public safe, and therefore our responsibility to advise of new research which has revealed evidence of a related infection called CONCERN-20. Although not as critical as COVID-19, it is important we raise awareness of this situation and ensure that all individuals are fully briefed about its symptoms. These include:
An increasing sense of panic and anxiety
An inability to stop scrolling through news feeds to read every new story about the virus
An urge to secure as much toilet paper as possible
A growing concern for friends and family, and the general public more widely
You can reduce your chances of being infected by CONCERN-20 by continuing to take the same precautions outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) for COVID-19. Remember to regularly wash your hands with soap and water; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and remain at home if you feel unwell. We are also able to provide the following additional guidance:
Limit the amount of time spent reading or watching things which aren’t making you feel better. If social media is having a negative effect on your mental well-being, mute triggering accounts and seek out photographs of cute animals instead.
Not leaving the house does not necessarily mean you are unable to travel at the present time. Video games are able provide a method of travelling the world and indulging your sense of curiosity and exploration, without taking any unnecessary risks.
Make regular plans to chat with people or groups you would normally talk to, whether via telephone call, video chat or Discord. If you are following the advice in the point above, you need not worry about running out of things to talk about.
Build physical activity into your daily routine. Exercising at home can be simple and many options are available for all abilities; for example, dancing while singing along loudly to songs from the 1980s has been proven to increase a sense of well-being.
Giving yourself a creative outlet is an effective way to relax and reduce stress. We can highly recommend writing blog posts to share your thoughts on video games played, as well as participating in conversations with other bloggers.
There is a lot of miscommunication and reading too much news about coronavirus can lead to panic. Stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information such as government and NHS websites rather than articles created to encourage clicks.
The current health crisis may present new challenges including social distancing, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. The Support Role Discord server provides a safe space for conversations related to dealing with the virus and mental health; and the Quarantine Creative Collection is bringing people together through their creative works.
If we all stick together and are there for each other, getting through COVID-19 and CONCERN-20 will be that little bit easier. Follow the advice outlined by the WHO and stay safe.