Local psychologist on how we treat others amid COVID-19

Butler Hospital doctor with advice on coming together

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Coronavirus, its rapid spread and its impact on all of our lives has folks understandably anxious, stressed and downright scared.

Psychologist Lisa Uebelacker of Butler Hospital in Providence says that anxiety can really impact our behavior.

“You may make decisions that are not the best decisions for the community as a whole,” said Uebelacker. “We have to think about how we can help our community as a whole get through this because we’re all in this together,” said Uebelacker.

Fears about COVID-19 can also lead to a lack of kindness and compassion for those on the front lines of the crisis.

“These are very brave, courageous people who I respect deeply,” said Uebelacker.

Those doctors, nurses, first responders and grocery store workers are likely very anxious themselves over their level of exposure to the virus. Uebelacker says it doesn’t hurt to remember that, and say thank you.

“I think expressing gratitude to the people we know, the people in our lives who do need to be on the front lines, and appreciating, look you’re doing something really important for the health of our entire community, thank you,” said Uebelacker.

Also, be aware of how you’re treating those who’ve been diagnosed with the virus.

“It could be any of us. And although we have to-when someone is in quarantine you don’t have contact with them, but again still calling them,” said Uebelacker. “Like supporting families who are in quarantine so they know their community is appreciating what they’re doing.”

And during this time of uncertainty, it can be frustrating not to be able to show physical affection to others when we want to the most.

“You can smile, you can laugh, you can make a joke out of an elbow bump. It does make it harder, of course, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with people in other ways,” said Uebelacker.

© WLNE-TV / ABC 6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Providence, Rhode Island, Your Health