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Understanding COVID-19

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness in humans and animals. These viruses are known to cause respiratory infections that may be more severe such as, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Therefore, you or a loved one may wonder about the coronavirus impact on drug and alcohol recovery.

COVID-19 is the most recently discovered coronavirus that was first detected in humans in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and has since spread to 166 countries and territories around the world. This virus is highly contagious and is transferred through direct human to human contact, touching objects or surfaces that those infected encountered and then touching their face, mouth, or eyes. People can also become infected from breathing in droplets expelled from an infected person who coughs or sneezes. Those with weakened immune systems are more likely to be at risk for the virus such as the elderly, children, or those who are immunocompromised.


Here are the most common symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • High Fever
  • Persistent pain or chest pressure
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Some people report nasal congestion and sneezing
  • In rare cases, diarrhea


According to the CDC, here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with those who show respiratory illness
  • Avoid touching your face, mouth, and eyes
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Frequently clean surfaces and objects


For someone suffering from conditions like anxiety and depression, the COVID-19 outbreak can feel overwhelming. Schools and businesses are closing, and jobs are declaring employees to work from home. People are flocking the grocery store and leaving the shelves empty because of fears over quarantine. The sudden change in behavior and schedules can induce stress, fear, and isolation. There are many steps you can take at this time to stay calm during the face of uncertainty.

Some steps you can take to decrease stress and anxiety include:

  1. Take breaks from watching, reading, and listening to news stories about COVID-19
    This includes taking a social media break. Constant news about the virus can be overwhelming and cause more panic. Instead, try to keep busy doing other things like reading a book, watching Netflix, or having family and friends game nights (even if it is virtual).
  2. Find a way to connect with others
    We live in a world where you can connect with family and friends at any time of the day. Use Facetime or Skype to video chat and connect with loved ones. Call to check in with elderly neighbors and family members to make sure they are okay.
  3. Stick to your normal routine as much as possible
    Because of the virus, you may be working from home. Sticking to a normal routine as much as possible is essential. Wake up, get dressed, work your regular hours, and go to bed at a reasonable time. To reduce distractions, create a workplace that isn’t cluttered. Set a time to take breaks from your work for lunch or stretching.
  4. Continue exercising
    Most gyms have shut down temporarily during this time. However, exercising is a great way to reduce anxiety, and you don’t need a gym to do it. Many gyms are sharing workout videos that you can do from the comfort of your own home. This is also a great time to get outdoors and go for a hike, bike ride, run, or walk your dog.
  5. Take care of your body and mind
    Taking a few minutes each day to do breathing exercises and meditation can help relax and reset your mind and body. Adding yoga into your daily routine is a great way to stretch and release tension in your body from stress. There are many meditation and yoga classes available online. Additionally, make sure you eat healthy balanced meals, get plenty of sleep, and avoid using drugs or alcohol.
  6. Educate yourself
    Information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly. Make sure you are getting updates and information about the virus from reliable resources. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization provide valuable facts and information to help understand the risks of Coronavirus to you and your loved ones.
  7. Utilize online telehealth therapy services available to you at Harmony Bay Wellness
    Harmony Bay Wellness will begin seeing patients in April. Our licensed therapists are available at your convenience from the comfort of your own home via telehealth. Use your computer or mobile device to speak with a Harmony Bay therapist about your concerns and fears about everything happening in the world due to COVID-19.


Taking care of your mental health during this time is important. At Harmony Bay Wellness, we realize you may have anxiety about the coronavirus impact on drug and alcohol recovery. So, if you’re wondering if there is a therapist or psychiatrist in Mt. Laurel, NJ, and the greater South Jersey area who can help, Harmony Bay is here. We hope we can help you or your loved one through this stressful time. Contact us today to learn more about our online therapy telehealth services at [Direct].

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.