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COVID-19 Series

Concentrating On COVID: Exhaustive Fears

We are nearing a year and a half in this ever-glooming pandemic and it seems like it is never going to end. I, like many in the world am trying my best to be resilient. However, with all the social media feeds overfilling with information about COVID-19, it can become a challenge to be resilient.

Autistic people myself included can have a great deal of resilience. We are many times faced with challenges that may be hard to overcome, but when we are told no, we many times fight the odds and do what is needed to overcome the obstacles that come our way.  One time when autism-related support forums online, the question was asked whether or not people with autism watch television. Some said other than if they had to know the basics, like the weather or other pertinent information, they stay away from it. This is a true sediment for me, as I do not have cable TV in my home, however I do have the ability to stream the news should I choose and do so with limits. However, using social media to share my knowledge of autism in the crossing paths is a plethora of COVID-19 information and stories that I may find crippling to my inner sense.

It has been proven that many people with autism, including myself struggle with doing things because we take at face value the things we hear in the news. Yes, I do my part by following the CDC (national) recommendations. However, it can get to the point where it can become too serious for me and if can topple over onto loved ones where I am pressing the need for them to do as I do. I at times realize that I need to step back and realize that everyone has the ability to make personal choices, whether or not I agree with them. As long as I am doing my part to ensure my safety, there is nothing that I have the ability to do. I cannot become the COVID police because that doesn’t make my integrity look well and I wouldn’t be the utmost person by becoming such an individual.

However, with all the negative setbacks we are experiencing in fighting COVID, I am struggling with the need to socialize in my down time. As mentioned yesterday in my adulting blog, I don’t want to leave the four walls and do things on my own because I fear that I will contract the virus. I am letting my mind and the messages sent over the media produce a heightened sense of fear of wanting to remain the four walls of my home and become unmotivated and unproductive. I know that I am doing my best by following the precautions of masking and keeping my distance indoors and doing the latter outside. I realize that I am crippling myself by not living a little and being sequestered in my home in fear.

These fears become exhaustive as they do in many others with autism because they take everything, they hear at face value. Additionally, many with autism also anxiety and produce fear about getting sick, having to quarantine, ending up in the hospital, etc. I have seen videos on Tik Tok of autistic individuals having to have COVID-19 testing and how sensitive it is to a person, which can reduce fear. It took 5 adults to administer a COVID 19 rapid test to an autistic child. This had heightened my fear a bit and it made me go through the cycle of adrenaline and cortisol, thus causing the flight, fight or flee, of which I am fighting the ability to do things in whatever sense of normalcy there is today.

I must realize that if I take the proper precautions and do what is needed to be safe, that I will be fine. Others will do what they do, but I must do what is best for me because I must protect myself. However, I cannot live my life in fear of doing things that I need to do to keep the mind active. I must continue being resilient to be an example to my peers and other that look to me as an example.

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