As the COVID-19 virus continues to wreak havoc on the global economy and global health systems, it’s easy for many of us to naturally revert to feelings of stress, disbelief or even outright panic. The fight-flight response, while at times an adaptive advantage for human survival, can also be an impediment to it. That is, there are some dangers we perceive that are not really present, at least not in the immediate moment, and for us individually.
In a recent Psychology Today article, psychiatrist Dr. Eva Ritvo discussed the heightened global fear surrounding COVID-19, as an exemplifier of the fight-flight response. She said that, “if real danger is not present, we may become obsessed with the wrong things. If fear doesn’t have the proper target, it can become anxiety and paranoia.”