Autism, Health Anxiety & Covid-19

We have had an awful week with the eldest boy and its been building for the last week and a half. The media frenzy surrounding coronavirus isn't boding well for L's health anxiety and he's really struggling. There is literally no escaping info on Corona and he's hearing it everywhere even in school. They have a poster on the office doors with health advice relating to it. It's on social media, the news, the papers and the radio. Aside from social media, L doesn't bother with the latter on the list but since this, all surfaced he is instantly checking for updates. The news bulletin about covid-19 being named as a pandemic has peaked his anxiety even further.

The news of events being cancelled places closing and travel suspended makes it all-consuming for him. I have tried all different approaches to calm his anxiety but so far have failed to reassure him in any way. He's on the peak of an epic meltdown, I can feel it coming and it is the midst of exam season which isn't helping. 

The news that most other countries seem to be being proactive in preventing the spread and ours isn't is bothering him. I can't answer this question for him sadly. I honestly think an imposed school closure would do him the world of good at the moment and calm his anxiety, he's so worried about being outside!

For someone like me who isn't autistic, I can't say this whole thing has overly worried me. I am concerned for my children's mental health and how it's affected them, but I can honestly say I am not at all concerned about catching the coronavirus in the slightest. According to the governments latest info, we fall in the high-risk category and suggest we should social distance ourselves.

As of yesterday, we are all at home, aside from Dave who works in retail and has to go into work. This will continue until he is told otherwise. Our plan is to stay home unless we need to go out, I had to go out yesterday as I was at Pop's scheduled stoma nurse appointment. So far her surgery is still to go ahead on the 31st, I'm keeping my fingers crossed this remains. 

I have a weekly delivery slot booked for my food shop, but these crazy panic buyers are clearing the shelves. This weeks shop and 8 substitutes and 5 unavailable items. I had an email today to say all items are limited to just 3 of each item. I totally get it, but when you have autistic kids who only eat certain foods it's a bit of a pain. I refuse to go out and panic buy and put people worse of than myself in a situation where they cant get their essentials. We will be doing our usual weekly shop and going out early to pick up the bits that aren't available online.

My boy's high school have loaded lots of online work onto the school homework system, so they have plenty to keep them busy. My younger son's school don't have the resources to be printing off workbooks like some other schools have so have issued a list of handy online resources. 

My personal advice through all of this is only to take advice from real government and NHS websites. There are so many fake news reports our there, even the media are making false reports now, its ridiculous and damaging to peoples mental health. Do what YOU think is best for YOUR family.
Stay Safe
Mandy
xx

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