G'day, I don't normally do forums, because engaging online is one of the trickier things for me to manage with my anxiety, but I know that in the coming weeks and months, I may have less access to the things that usually keep me well. I've come on here now to check out the tips and wisdom that has been shared through the forum, about coping with the pandemic. And wow, there's some great ideas here. The single biggest thing that is worrying me about this pandemic is isolation and lack of human contact. I'm already feeling it, and it's only been a couple of weeks. Over the last few years I have fought really hard to improve my mental health and manage anxiety, and that has meant evolving from somebody who was reclusive, to somebody who is comfortable - and even enjoys - being around others. In fact, I need that contact now, as part of staying balanced and well. It's ironic, but 5 or 6 years ago this situation would have been fine, but I desperately don't want to go back to being the person I was then. Thankfully I still have my work, and interactions with my colleagues there, but who knows for how long. There's a good chance I'll either be working from home or stood down from my job in the near future, and that is when things will get much harder, not because of the financial or practical impacts, but because of the isolation. I live alone, my family is all interstate and overseas, several of my friends are considered vulnerable to COVID, and even the ones that aren't I wouldn't risk seeing in person now. I'm trying to stay connected with some of them through social media and phone calls, but finding it difficult. Partly this is because they are understandably dealing with their own concerns and may not want to chat, and partly because my underdeveloped social skills make it really hard for me to communicate effectively without seeing someone face-to-face. The very thought of picking up the phone to call someone fills me with icky knots, but I see it as the best of a bunch of not-ideal options at the moment. So that's all I got for now - manage my panicky feelings, focus on what I have, be grateful for the clear air outside (and very recently we didn't have that, so I'm not taking it for granted!), maintain my physical health, and take things day by day, hour by hour. I am currently in a job where staying up-to-date and passing on pandemic info is all I do, so avoiding media is unfortunately not an option for me, but plenty of the other suggestions are.