Skip to main content

Managing Fears and Anxiety Related to Coronavirus

rising sun graphic in teal blue

As information about Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) unfolds, you may experience a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Below are some tips to help you put information and concerns in perspective, manage your anxiety, and maintain a commitment to our University values of equity and respect. This is a critically important time for all of us to reinforce a community of care on our campus and support one another.

I feel anxiety and helplessness when thinking about the Coronavirus. Is this normal?

Yes, there are many commons reactions to stress about Coronavirus which may include:

  • Anxiety, worry, panic
  • Feeling helpless
  • Social withdrawal
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
  • Hypervigilance
  • Anger
  • Fear about interacting with those you perceive to be infected

What is the best way to manage stress I may be feeling about Coronavirus? 

It is best to try to keep things in perspective. You might consider lessening the time you spend listening to media coverage or limiting your time on social media. Although you’ll want to keep informed, remember to take a break from watching the news and focus on the things that are positive in your life and things over which you have control.

What is the best way to keep informed while limiting my media exposure?

Stay informed with the latest health and campus information by visiting

My classmate has a cough, do they have Coronavirus?

Someone who has a cough or a fever does not necessarily have the coronavirus. Self-awareness is important in not stigmatizing others in our community, so we should be mindful of our assumptions about others. We are committed to our values of equity and respect at Vanderbilt. Be kind to others.

What can I do to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus?

Everyday habits can help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. We should all engage in these practices:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get plenty of rest and prioritize good sleep.
  • Exercise and eat well.

I am experiencing anxiety about the coronavirus. What support services are available?

If you are feeling physically ill, contact the Student Health Center (SHC) at 615-322-2427.