Benefit Department Coordinator Info

   See below for information from our District Benefit Coordinators:

Coping with the Coronavirus Outbreak

The constant media and health organization alerts about the spread of the Novel Coronavirus have naturally caused great concern as the risk of infection has spread. People are becoming worried about the impact this situation may have on them, their families, their friends and their country. Fear that precautions to prevent the further spread of the virus might fail, are beginning to surface in the media and in our thoughts. 

The first step to coping with stress and uncertainty is to understand the psychological impact it is having on us, on our children, and the people around us. 

What to expect

People will deal with uncertainty in different ways. People differ in how they give meaning to events or the extent to which they expect it to influence life. Additionally, people differ in how they express emotion and feel accountable and responsible to family and friends. Despite these individual differences, it is common human experience to be impacted by threats to health and safety. 

Below are some normal reactions to stressful circumstances:

  • Overwhelmed / shocked
  • Frightened
  • Anxious
  • Distressed
  • Worried
  • Confused
  • Helpless and powerless

All these reactions may express themselves in different ways, including:

  • Anxiety in the presence of unknown persons
  • Difficulty concentrating, attending to tasks
  • Uncharacteristic changes in sleeping and/or eating patterns
  • Unusual irritation, agitation, heightened sense of alertness and jumpiness
  • Preoccupation with the news
  • Concerns relating to the safety of family members and friends
  • Heightened emotions/increased sadness, irritability and anger
  • A strong desire to be with friends and family
  • A desire to implement strong rules and guidance to navigate the situation

While we have no control over the Novel Coronavirus Virus epidemic, we do have control over how we manage our own reactions to the situation; these are times when we need to pay attention to how we manage our stress.

As much as possible:

  • Maintain family routines
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay physically active
  • Reach out to people close to you and, where possible, stay connected to family and friends abroad
  • Limit exposure to media. Instead, monitor the situation through government websites for example, the US government websites, the Center for Disease Control, or the World Health Organization
  • Separate factual information from imagined fears
  • Remember that your feelings may vary from day to day and may be different than the feelings and thoughts of those around you
  • Set aside time every day for self-care and positive distraction. Do something that you enjoy and that brings you peace and calm, such a meditation, reading, listening to soothing music, reading to your children, watching a funny movie. 
  • Avoid relying on alcohol or other substances to help you cope
  • Focus your attention on the things over which you have influence and control  

The Benefits of Your EAP 

Sometimes talking to a professional counselor can help you deal with your reactions and maintain perspective. Your EAP is a free and completely confidential service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can reach us anytime by calling 1 877 851 1631 or visiting