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Friday, November 26 2021

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Covid times and the panic caused by doom scrolling

With the onset of the pandemic, people have been exposed to a lot of news stories which have endless negative content present in it. A very good portion of the news from various media outlets are solely focussing on the daily covid reports. And with the condition worsening each day, it is inevitable that the content is having such a nature.

Naturally with such a situation, people would like to be alert all the time and be on par with the latest news. But when too much of dystopian news is followed, it can cause harmful psychological responses in some. While we keep scrolling through the internet and reading pandemic news about the number of deaths and lack of medical supplies, it increases anxiety and sadness. Even though there was a positive flair which was brought in by the Vaccination, it was soon overthrown by the reports on the new covid variant which is spreading mayhem.

When a person continues to go through content with a negative bias, their daily life gets affected, their energy levels and enthusiasm drops, when they try to make sense of the negativity. Some people keep on going back to the content in search of some hope and this in turn becomes a vicious cycle and affects our health. Our resources and activities have been limited with families getting separated and social gatherings being prohibited. With this isolation, people turn to news outlets so that they can be alert. But too much of this news can also be harmful.

“Constantly being exposed to such type of news can be overpowering for our emotions,” said Priyanka Bantwal, Psychologist. Sometimes this news can be exaggerated and people that are glued to the television will not be able to know the difference, she added. She said that to overcome this challenge, people should watch only official news and that too only for a particular period of time. “Have a time lock and only watch these reports during that time period,” she said.

The best way to handle the overwhelming situation is by keeping oneself busy through constructive activities like exercises, reading books, watching films and listening to music, which can help relieve stress.

Image by Mote Oo Education from Pixabay 

SC H Varghese

Harshita Mary Varghese graduated with a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from St. Aloysius College Mangaluru and is quickly learning the ropes of the emerging Media Industry. She has excellent language and reportage skills. She excels at human interest and travel stories.

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