Stressed out woman

If you are feeling anxious and stressed out from the nonstop barrage of negative news about the global coronavirus outbreak (aka COVID-19), WELCOME TO THE CLUB!

Very selective reporting and dire predictions repeated over and over by health officials and the mainstream media have elevated the fear factor of this virus to the level of the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-20 which resulted in the deaths of 20-50 million people worldwide (according to History.com). Mandatory quarantines, travel restrictions, panic buying sprees, and widespread business closures with no apparent end in sight serve to magnify the high level of stress that we are experiencing collectively.

Val Silver is a Wellness Coach who discussed the topic of stress in her report published on the Holistic MindBody Healing website:

The relationship between emotions, stress and health it is so clear that it is one of the few health keys experts agree on. The link is so strong that researchers estimate that stress related illnesses account for upwards of 80% of non-genetic health problems… Chronic, or long-term stress of any kind, not only contributes to your risk of contracting a disease, it can speed the progression of illnesses you already have and make them worse.

WebMD features R. Morgan Griffin’s article entitled, “10 Health Problems Related to Stress That You Can Fix” that included this warning:

Studies have found many health problems related to stress. Stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma.

Elizabeth Scott is a wellness coach who describes how stress affects our bodies in her report entitled, “How Does Stress Impact Your Health?” 

Stress can trigger the body’s response to a perceived threat or danger, known as the fight-or-flight response. During this reaction, certain hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are released. This speeds the heart rate, slows digestion, shunts blood flow to major muscle groups, and changes various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength. When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function via the relaxation response. But in cases of chronic stress, the relaxation responses doesn’t occur often enough, and being in a near-constant state of fight-or-flight can cause damage to the body.

On April 2, 2020, Investment Watch Blog warned its readers of the economic fallout from COVID-19 in its report entitled, “BofA: Brace For the ‘Deepest Recession on Record,’… NYT: the Global Recession Could Last a Long Time.”

Brace for the ‘deepest recession on record,’ says Bank of America analysts, as jobless claims surge to 6.6 million. BofA economists forecast that the unemployment rate will soon hit 15.6% from 3.5% as of February.

On April 1, 2020, Children’s Health Defense published Dr. Toby Rogers’ guest post entitled, “Will “Deaths of Despair” Outpace Deaths From Coronavirus?” that contained the following commentary:

There is a large volume of academic literature on “the social determinants of health” and “deaths of despair” caused by increases in the unemployment rate. The pioneering work in this field was conducted by Harvey Brenner (then at Johns Hopkins University) on behalf of the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress in the mid 1970s. So how many additional deaths will be caused in the U.S. by the increase in the unemployment rate caused by government orders to shelter in place? That depends on a lot of factors including the number unemployed and the length of unemployment. 

Elizabeth Scott offers stress management advice in her aforementioned report:

Sometimes, the best way to manage your stress involves changing your situation. At other times, the best strategy involves changing the way you respond to the situation.

Finally, the Mises Institute issued a scathing rebuke to the forced quarantines and business closures in its March 31, 2020 post entitled, “End the Shutdown.”

The shutdown of the American economy by government decree should end. The lasting and far-reaching harms caused by this authoritarian precedent far outweigh those caused by the COVID-19 virus. The American people—individuals, families, businesses—must decide for themselves how and when to reopen society and return to their daily lives.

Chronic stress over COVID-19 may prove deadlier than the virus
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