Stress is a very interesting response. It has a crucial role in processing threats. This is well illustrated by The Adjustment Reaction, which models the response of those adjusting to a threat by stopping what may be seen as endangering, becoming hyper-vigilant of threats and information sources to best understand the threat.
The threat is then personalised to relate back to the individual, hypothesise how it could affect them and take the perceived necessary precautions.
The process characteristics in how people take precautions follow …
- Early– This may be those who were overly concerned about the event prior to infected cases in the country.
- Temporary– This is a natural reaction, not an anxiety disorder, it does not continue after the crisis is over.
- Rehearsal– This is a natural way for the psyche to come to grips with the situation with the least shock.
- Small over-reaction– Comparatively small to that of an anxiety attack, it would be seen as appropriate once the crisis hit.
- Reduction in damage– Allows those who go through this process successfully to be well prepared for when the crisis occurs.
With these characteristics in mind, it seems appropriate the Australian Government is managing the treat in the way they currently are. The Australian Government has noted publicly that they are trying to avoid scaring the public with too much information. Conflicting information from various sources has created a sense of unease in the community. This has triggered hoard purchasing of products for survival. This is a natural way to adjust to this threat.
As this is a new virus there is a lot of contradicting information about COVID-19. A lot of it attempting to diffuse the alarm of the public. To reduce stress, and this has impeded the natural human response of healthy stress, which allows preparation for a threat of this magnitude. In many ways the hoard buying triggered by COVID-19 information triggered a natural to cope with an impending crisis, and beneficial to managing stress.
There is opportunity to work collaboratively to keep the community informed of the most recent and reliable information. To help our neighbours and work together during this long road back to normality.