"Last night, I witnessed firsthand the effects of what two Canadian mental-health experts are calling 'coronaphobia'."
He then goes on to describe a normally popular restaurant that's deserted at peak hour.
"This occurred just after University of Regina psychology professor Gordon J.G. Admundson and University of British Columbia psychiatry professor Steven Taylor had written an editorial about public fears around COVID-19.
In the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, they state that there's been a "significant psychological impact"—to the point where it's affecting Canadians' behaviour.
Admundson and Taylor also suggest that it's contributing to xenophobia, noting the discrimination that's been meted out against people from China.
There's a virtually nonexistent risk of a British Columbian catching COVID-19 by going to eat in a Chinese restaurant.
So why was the place I visited last night nearly empty? To put it bluntly, local residents are acting irrationally and it's punishing their neighbours."
It's possible that fear and paranoia is a bigger problem than the Coronavirus itself. It takes a conscious decision to choose to empathise with people who are different from you. That often includes the uncomfortable admission that you have your own unconscious prejudices. Choosing empathy will result in greater emotional intelligence, which, by the way, will also improve your business performance long-term. That's a pretty positive side-effect.
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