The COVID-19 pandemic has evoked many emotions among people worldwide—none more prevalent than fear. These fears, according to University of Michigan psychology professor Joshua Ackerman, can be managed by finding activities that improve well-being and decision-making.

Ackerman’s research focuses on how people respond to and cope with ecological threats, including those related to mortality, infectious disease, resources, and social rejection.

COVID-19 has prompted many people worldwide to become fearful, anxious and depressed. When is fear justified?

Situations such as this one with COVID-19 are a perfect storm for generating fear. They involve a high degree of uncertainty about who is sick and how to prevent infection, an invisible threat, and alarming news reports that can overwhelm consideration of important statistics and recommendations. Couple uncertainty with fear of social interaction and requirements to restrict consumer activities, and you end up with panic-buying of items such as toilet paper, meats, bread and others. Of course, the fear around COVID-19 is actually justified for many people. Those with conditions that limit immune functioning worry about becoming sick. We all worry about the impact that the outbreak is having, and will continue to have, on our way of life. These fears have a basis in reality.

Read the full article at Michigan News.