Alinea Counseling, serving individuals and couples in Nashville and Brentwood TN, will remain in normal operation during March & April. Counseling services will remain available for our existing clients through in person counseling sessions and HIPPA compliant tele-therapy options. Please reach out to your counselor if you have questions. We provide helpful anxiety counseling for those in Brentwood and Nashville.
Harvard Health Coronavirus Resource Center
Center for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Information
Coronavirus Updated Outbreak Information
Johns Hopkins Daily Situation Reports
The New York Times Coronavirus Resource Page
First, and Foremost, What Are We Doing and What Do We Recommend You Should Be Doing to Prevent Pathogen Transmission?
You have probably at this point received an email from every business you have ever completed a transaction with, so this part you have probably already read. Most businesses and institutions are recommending a practice called ‘social distancing,’ and recommending that groups of asymptomatic individuals not meet if larger than 10 people.
Here is an excerpt I read in The Atlantic from a panel of experts:
Can I Have a Small Group Of Friends Over To My House For A Dinner Party Or A Board-Game Night?
Watson: I think small gatherings are probably okay as long as nobody has symptoms, respiratory symptoms. As soon as someone seems sick, you should probably not get together.
Ko: We’re in a gray zone now. The public-health imperative is to create social distance; that’s the only way we’re going to stop this. Think about having those get-togethers but practicing good public health: not sitting very close, trying to keep distance. Wash your hands; avoid touching your face.
Here is what we are recommending and doing in our offices and community work space:
- Most important reminder for everyone … if you are feeling ill (especially if you have a fever or cough) contact a medical professional via telephone and self-quarantine until you have completely recovered.
- My second and main thought is, and I hope I always encourage all of my clients to do this, as I am encouraging you now, be autonomous and make the best decision for yourself … so as you learn about the coronavirus, feel and do what is in your best interest.
- Practice proper hand and wrist hygiene … hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and water is recommended, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer (abhs). Either wash your hands, or apply abhs before and after the completion of each session.
- We are using alcohol based cleaning wipes approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for their effectiveness in killing COVID-19 to wipe down hard services, especially doorknobs, armrests, etc., multiple times each day.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. If a tissue isn’t available, a bent elbow is recommended.
- Avoid touching your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stop shaking hands, minimize physical contact.
Why Keep Seeing Clients?
Many health care professionals and health related boards are recommending individuals seek mental health counseling services if they are feeling anxious or depressed over the Coronavirus outbreak. It is normal, during times of a health pandemic and crisis, for individuals to feel a range of emotions, from anger, to fear, to sadness. No matter what your opinion of the heightened media attention surrounding COVID-19, the coronavirus outbreak is creating heightened fear and anxiety in the community. As new and conflicting information and recommendations are released daily, there can be a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions. Common symptoms include; excessive anger and fear, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, hyper-vigilance around personal health, panic and intense stress, feeling helpless, social withdrawal.
At Alinea Counseling, we believe a main tenet of helpful therapy is progressive emotional communication, or as people grow in their ability to put their thoughts and feelings into words, and are known and understood as they work to do so, they experience catharsis and psychological growth. The counselors at Alinea Counseling also believe that connection, meaningful human relationship, is a healing force. If we follow recommended guidelines, encourage those who have symptoms to stay home, and the government and agencies we trust haven’t told us to stop seeing clients, we plan to continue. We offer HIPPA compliant tele-therapy options. If you’re in the Brentwood or Nashville area and are experiencing Coronavirus anxiety, our counselors are here for you.
Here are four basic things we recommend:
- Stay informed on the latest COVID-19 news from reliable sources.
- Keep things in perspective.
- Remember to take a break from watching and listening to media coverage and continue to live; eat healthy, exercise, sleep.
- Stay connected, interpersonal connection is a great way to help maintain a sense of normalcy and is a valuable outlet for sharing feelings and receiving feedback.
Last, Here is Our Basic Understanding of COVID-19
Many resources are suggesting that the majority of people infected by COVID-19, the Coronavirus, show mild to no symptoms. When the virus does cause symptoms, the two most common symptoms are low-grade fever and dry cough, similar to the common cold.
More severe symptoms, often associated with critical outcomes, are high fever, severe cough, and shortness of breath, and are being associated with the elderly, the very young, and immunocompromised individuals.
Keeping individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and have mild or no symptoms away from susceptible populations is paramount in reducing serious complications. The coronavirus is a reminder for mental health service providers to be vigilant in the spread of transmissible disease or infectious bacteria.
Coronavirus is thought to be spread mostly from person to person. As with other transmissible diseases, droplets are created when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and these droplets contain the virus. These infected droplets, as air particles, could then be breathed into the mouth or nose of nearby individuals (close contact is suggested to be an estimated 6 feet) thereby being inhaled into the lungs.
Coronavirus can also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. A study recently published suggests that COVID-19 ‘can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.’ The World Health Organization estimates that contaminated droplets have a survival time on surfaces of a “few hours to a few days.” Several sources suggest the amount of exposure infected droplets have to sunlight and UV rays shortens their survival time outside of the body.
If you were to touch a contaminated droplet, either that a contaminated person coughed onto you in some way, or that was residually left on a surface, and then touch your mouth or nose without washing your hands first, you might give the virus an entry point into your own body.
Last, individuals infected with COVID-19 are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (fever and/or coughing). However, it is thought that the COVID-19 virus might be transmitting even before individuals show symptoms.