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Adjustment Reactions during an Influenza Pandemic link
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Introduction Just thinking about a pandemic may elicit an emotional reaction (if we are alive). Our reaction will be very personal, depending on our basic personality, on how we feel about other things, and on our particular circumstances. Our reaction will evolve if we think further, if we do something practical about it, or if the world changes around us. And all this is only because we’re imagining it! If or when there’s a real pandemic, many people (all people?) will go through their own “journey”.

We may try and categorize these inner and personal reactions into several “reaction situations”, which are of course rough simplifications. Let’s not call them “reaction stages” because they need not be sequential, and also because one is not necessarily “better” than the others.

We hope this page may be of help, but please realise it’s been written by fluwikie contributors who are not necessarily experts in psychology, counselling or anything of that sort. Just people talking to each other, looking at what they see, and trying to find ways forward. We recognize feelings for what they are, and at the same time we want to move forward. Patronizing or helplessness are not allowed here, thank you! :-)

Examples from other runs of life
A man has been diagnosed with a really bad case of cancer. His wife looks for other opinions, one doctor after another, and one therapy after another. She just can’t believe it’s happening.

A young girl finds out she’s pregnant. She didn’t expect it and she doesn’t like the news. She quits school and joins a circus.
… please add a few other examples for variety …

Several possibilities. Is “yours now” here? Add what you have felt or seen

Denial, disbelief
Useless action
Talk, talk, talk (to yourself or to others)
Blaming others (rightfully or not)
“I will survive”
(Please add your own!)

Suggestions for each situation
The same action can be taken at different situations. Help yourself to whichever suits you!

Work at things that improve the world in general, not just regarding a possible pandemic.
Work at things that are specific to a possible pandemic.
Enjoy life.
Get more information, either general or specific, either supporting what you believe or the oposite.
Anxiety. Your body is complaining and you are not getting enough sleep? Laugh a bit, go for a walk …
Go out and do some exercise.
Do something difficult so you must concentrate on that only.
Focused thinking (“divide and conquer” strategy).
Useful action (“one thing at a time” strategy).
Alerting others in “detached” mode.

Finally, there’s one piece of (self) advice, specially useful if we feel “blocked”. If someone punches you in the face, your reaction is going to be fast, and maybe not the best possible reaction. In a pandemic, and much more so before a pandemic, we can give ourselves time to think, time to explore things in sequence (say 5 minutes for each question, 25 minutes total, maybe in a family group):

What is going on right now?
What may happen in the future?
What good things do we have already?
What can we do?
How do we carry it out practically?

You may find that most of the times you do have 25 minutes! Or you may become good at it and run through those (or similar) questions in less time … Or you may teach others and maybe even “lead without leading”?

Further Reading
Peter Sandman, Adjustment Reactions: The Teachable Moment in Crisis Communication link
Dave Pollard, Spin, the Three P’s and the Politics of Learned Helplessness and Learned Optimism link


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trüki see kood alumisse tühja lahtrisse. aitäh :)