How to Be Productive and Creative in Times of Panic

It wouldn’t hurt to mute the word ‘coronavirus’ on social media for 24 hours

Barry Davret
Forge
Published in
4 min readMar 13, 2020

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Credit: Westend61/Getty Images

HHours after the 9/11 attacks, I finally made it back to my apartment in uptown New York City. Like everyone else lucky enough to return home that day, I existed in a daze, not comprehending what had just happened and no longer sure how to function. I had no idea how to manage my anxiety in the weeks that followed, so I surrendered to the 24-hour news cycle and drank myself to sleep, hoping this would help me reclaim the world I had lost.

While the coronavirus pandemic is a very different world event, the hysteria feels oddly familiar to what we experienced in 2001. Back then, public spaces seemed like death traps; today they feel like contagion zones. We don’t know whether to trust the news. And there’s no end in sight.

I didn’t know how to deal with panic back in 2001, but I’ve learned some more productive approaches since then. Here are some tips for staying calm, productive, and even creative during the coronavirus outbreak.

Avoid the panic amplifiers

Much has been written about how social media intensifies our anxiety, and we never see this more clearly than during a crisis. Yesterday, I made the mistake of…

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Barry Davret
Forge
Writer for

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