Novel Coronavirus

Updates and information about Antioch College’s continued preparedness, action, and response to the Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A situational COVID-19 Task Force (chaired by Dean of Cooperative, Experiential, and International Education and Associate Professor of Cooperative Education Richard Kraince) is continually monitoring the situation as it develops and is creating recommendations for policy.

Important information for the Antioch College community and visitors including steps you can take to remain healthy are outlined on this page.

| STATUS UPDATES | IMPORTANT INFORMATION | RESOURCES |

Updated Monday, May 26, 2020

Additional Actions In Response to COVID-19

Read the 5/18 FAQs regarding COVID-19 policies and procedures for Antioch employees in the “Information for Faculty & Staff” toggle below

Read the 5/15/20 special announcement from President Tom Manley

Regarding the “Responsible RestartOhio” announcement: Please read the “Responsible Protocols” issued by the State of Ohio. Campus operations and the work-from-home policy remain otherwise unchanged, and only those employees deemed “essential” should be on campus.

All courses are currently online through J/A Block (Fall Quarter decision pending)
Information for:

There are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus disease on the Antioch College campus or for students who have returned from Co-op. Staff are monitoring and are in touch with all students who are currently off campus.

The College’s staff—including a situational Task Force—are constantly monitoring the situation, and is in close communication with the Greene County Public Health Department and a series of actions have been implemented out of an abundance of caution.

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE DETAILS and please watch email and this page for updates

Campus Nurse

Pan Reich, RN, EMT-P
nurse@antiochcollege.edu

Task Force

Dr. Richard Kraince, Chair
Dean of Cooperative, Experiential, and International Education
rkraince@antiochcollege.edu

Important Information

Important Action Plan for those On Campus

After consultations with public health officials and to ensure our compliance with state mandated actions, we have created this Antioch Campus action-plan to help prevent the transmission of viral infections during this pandemic.

4/28 UPDATE: Please read the “Responsible Protocols” issued by the State of Ohio on Monday, April 27. Campus operations and the work-from-home policy remain otherwise unchanged, and only those employees deemed “essential” should be on campus.

These actions apply to all students, staff, and faculty who are spending time on campus, and we hope you find them to be empowering to give you some control to keep yourself and our community safe!

Those on campus who are healthy and have not had contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 positive individual:
  • Please continue to practice “social distancing.”
  • Begin a routine of self-monitoring. This entails measuring your body temperature twice a day at about the same times and closely monitoring yourself for dry, unproductive cough and shortness of breath. Please utilize this form to record your monitoring (PDF); this data will be helpful should you become sick. Students: we’re currently seeking thermometers for your use.
  • Keep things clean. Before and after each use, please diligently cleanse all hard surfaces including desks, countertops, hard chairs, keyboards, door knobs, bathroom fixtures, etc. in your immediate work or living environment with germicidal products, which will be available at various stations on campus.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Teamwork will keep us healthy; this could mean stepping up and gently reminding each other!
Anyone with a body temperature of at least 100.0, dry cough, or shortness of breath; or if you’ve had contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 positive individual:
  • Please report the above positive findings to your supervisor or dean, and our campus nurse, via phone or email as soon as possible to discuss the need to self-isolate.
  • Initiating self-isolation; staff/faculty in your home and students in your private room.
  • When needing to perform essential duties, such as obtaining food, wear a mask securely over your nose and mouth and cleanse your hands thoroughly before going into public areas and use hand sanitizing gel if you inadvertently touch your face, eyes, or mask. Pan has masks for sick people who are self-isolating. You may discontinue this self-isolation protocol when your symptoms have been resolved for 72 hours and it’s been at least 7 days since the onset of your symptoms
  • Provide daily reports to your work supervisor or the Dean of Students, and campus nurse via phone or email.

Changes to Academic & Campus Operations

In light of the quickly evolving circumstances related to COVID-19, Antioch College announces a series of immediate actions. These measures are being taken out of an abundance of caution—rather than a sense of panic—to safeguard our community.

Actions include the suspension of classes beginning Thursday, March 12 for the Winter quarter with the remainder of coursework to be completed online, as well as online instruction for the start of the upcoming Spring quarter. In addition, campus events have been cancelled until further notice.

LEARN MORE

Wellness Center

UPDATE: 5/26/20

Please note that while the state of Ohio permits the reopening of fitness facilities and pools beginning May 26 as part of the Responsible RestartOhio initiative, the Antioch College Wellness Center remains closed at this time while we continue to prepare the facility for reopening. We anticipate announcing more information in mid-June.

We are working hard to ensure that when we reopen, we provide the safest possible conditions for your workout and comply with the state guidelines and safety protocols.

Members will continue to receive emails with information regarding current online offerings and announcements.  We are pleased to continue to offer free exercise videos and information on our Wellness at Home page, and you may sign up for our video and live stream virtual classes via the Wellness Center app or online here.

All monthly memberships will remain on hold at this time unless you have requested otherwise. For questions regarding your membership, please email us at wellness@antiochcollege.edu.

Previously Announced Information

MEMBERSHIP UPDATES

All monthly membership payments have been suspended as of Friday 3/20/20 (unless you have specifically asked your membership payments to continue in order to continue to support us).

Since our software company does not yet have a tool to hold all annual contracts automatically, we continue to take requests for annual members who want membership holds starting 3/14/20, when we closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Annual membership hold requests can continue to be made at wellness@antiochcollege.edu.

SWIM LESSON UPDATES

All participants enrolled in March swim lessons have already been rolled over to lessons starting April 9th and running through May 2nd. In the event that opening of the Wellness Center is delayed further, the credit for swim lessons will remain for when we are able to re-open.

SUPPORT THE WELLNESS CENTER

Some of our generous members have asked how to support the Wellness Center during this difficult time. One way is to keep your monthly membership active during this closure by emailing this request to wellness@antiochcollege.edu. Another way is to DONATE to either our general fund, pool fund, tennis court fund, fitness equipment fund, or Curl Scholarship fund (which helps low income individuals and families have to access Wellness Center membership).

WELLNESS AT HOME

In an effort to support members during this unprecedented time, we have implemented a Wellness at Home webpage. We are working on more ways to bring Wellness activities to you at home. We will continue to update this page with links and offerings.

Thanks for your continued support during this challenging time. We are wishing good health to you and yours.

Glen Helen

The Trailside Museum and the Vernet Building at Glen Helen are closed until further notice.

Trails will be closed to the public Thursday, March 26 through Monday, April 6 in order to help protect the health and safety of our visitors and stay in accordance with Governor DeWine’s stay-at-home order.

The Glen Helen Raptor Center is closed to the public and programs are cancelled through mid April. The Raptor Center rehabilitation clinic remains open for raptors in need of medical assistance. Finders must call 937-767-7648 in advance to ensure someone is available to meet you at the clinic.

Since we are a private, non-governmental non profit, we do not fall under the public parks exemption. As such, we currently lack the staff and volunteer support necessary to protect the Glen and ensure the safety of our visitors under recent, but essential, social distancing directives.

We take great joy in the fact that the Glen is a sanctuary for so many and this is an outcome we wanted to postpone as long as we could, but, despite the difficulty we had making this decision, it is the right one. At this time, we all need to take social distancing seriously by staying home and limiting contact with others. We appreciate your understanding and continued support.

All Travel

Staff and faculty have been asked not to travel on official College business until further notice.

All members of the community are encouraged to limit non-essential travel at this time.

STUDENTS

The updated COVID-19 outbreak projections and government actions indicate that the safest course for individuals and public health systems is for everyone to be in their home communities immediately. Consequently, we are advising you to undertake necessary travel to your home base as soon as you can possibly manage it.

If you are unable to take a final exam at the scheduled time because of your travel, please be in touch with you instructor to make alternative arrangements. If you require any assistance or have any concerns please contact Dean Susan Lee at 937-319-2100 or any member of the Co-op or President’s Team.

IF YOU HAVE TRAVELED ALREADY

  • If you’ve traveled to China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, or Japan, you should self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Please contact College Nurse Pan Reich immediately (nurse@antiochcollege.edu).
  • If you’ve traveled to California or Washington State, AND are sick with a lower respiratory illness please contact College Nurse Pan Reich as soon as possible (nurse@antiochcollege.edu). If you also have a fever, you should contact Pan Reich and see a physician.

IF YOU ARE MAKING TRAVEL PLANS

  • If you are developing College-related international travel plans that have not yet been communicated, please inform Richard Kraince so we can be in dialogue with you about how to assess the risks involved.
  • Those considering College- or non-College-related travel either domestically or abroad should feel free to reach out to discuss travel plans as well.
  • Follow the CDC’s specific guidance for travelers.

TRAVEL INFO FORMS

In addition to the steps above, please complete the appropriate form which will help the College to track and assist all members of our community who have traveled or plan to travel.

Co-op Information

UPDATE ON END OF CO-OP TERM

The College feels that it is essential that students on Co-op get on the road as quickly as possible and travel to the location where you plan to spend your extended spring break, whether that means home, campus, or another location. We also urge you not to engage in spring break travel—especially in high risk zones—but actually head to a place where you will hunker down for a few weeks.

Please initiate a discussion with your Co-op employers/mentors and let them know that we are urging you to take action. When exactly you leave is ultimately your decision. You are the one who can best determine what your safest course of action will be. We just want to make sure you know that you do not have to wait until 5:00 PM on Friday, March 20 to leave.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED INFORMATION

On March 1, the CDC published a memo entitled “Guidance for Student Foreign Travel for Institutions of Higher Education” in response to the coronavirus’ spread. This memo calls on institutions that have students participating in foreign exchange or study abroad programs to “consider postponing or canceling upcoming student foreign exchange program” and to “consider asking students participating in study abroad programs to return to the United States.”

The Co-op Program regularly monitors threat levels issued by various agencies and has been in dialogue with students planning international Co-op experiences as well as faculty members who have upcoming international travel plans relating to their research or other professional obligations. It is our current institutional practice to assess travel risk on a case-by-case basis, but generally Antioch College conforms to the details of the country-specific recommendations communicated through the Travel Advisories issued by the US Department of State as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health Notices.

Our emerging policy response is this: Should a particular location where a student is planning to travel be designated by the US Department of State a “Level 4 – Do Not Travel” or if the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issues a “Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel” advisory, we will have to consider that location off limits for any Antioch College program, including Co-op. This is policy is in line with similar policies recently established at Brown University, Earlham College, Oberlin College, and other institutions.

Please keep in mind that all students’ physical and emotional safety is of highest importance as we develop these policies. The Co-op Program is committed to working with any affected student to plan an alternative Co-op experience or assist them in proposing to change their sequence, so they can complete a study term and then plan to go on Co-op at a later date if they would like to do so.

Our Co-op faculty is committed to working with any student during the term to consider alternative Co-op plans should at some point they decide that they do not want to take the risk of travelling to a location where a heightened risk level is becoming apparent. Moreover, Richard Kraince (Dean of Cooperative, Experiential & International Education) will be available throughout Spring Break to address these same concerns. Students should feel free to contact him at 937-768-8042 to discuss any concerns.

Student Info for Spring Term

ONLINE COURSE ACCESS

As we move to distance learning classes for the final week of the Winter quarter and the first two weeks of the Spring quarter (March 17 to April 17) we would like to get a good idea of the access that students will have to online platforms during this period.

Please complete the survey

REGISTRATION AND CHANGE OF SEQUENCE REQUESTS

Please visit this page for information for Spring Registration, Change of Sequence for Spring 2020 Term, and Registration Assistance for Spring and J/A Terms.

STUDENT ACCOUNTS

In light of the precautionary steps the College is taking in response to COVID-19, we are removing the billing holds on student accounts in an effort to make spring registration easier. Understanding that students may want, or need, to change the Co-op sequence in the Spring term, we are looking at ways to address any additional expenses.

Please feel free to contact the Student Billing office to go over the details of your account.

Lynda Earley – Student Billing office
learley@antiochcollege.edu
937-319-0072

Elise Peyroux – Controller
epeyroux@antiochcollege.edu
937-319-6172

STUDENT EMPLOYEES

While student employees are not expected to work during this time, student employees can continue work within the parameters above, assuming their work can be done while exercising social distancing measures.

Students Advised to Return Home

The updated COVID-19 outbreak projections and government actions indicate that the safest course for individuals and public health systems is for everyone to be in their home communities immediately.

Consequently, students are advised to undertake necessary travel to your home base as soon as you can possibly manage it.

If you are unable to take a final exam at the scheduled time because of your travel, please be in touch with you instructor to make alternative arrangements. If you require any assistance or have any concerns please contact Dean Susan Lee at 937-319-2100 or any member of the Co-op or President’s Team.

Your safety and well-being are guiding this decision. Please do not hesitate to contact any faculty and staff with questions or for support as we navigate this challenging time.

Information for Faculty & Staff

5/18 UPDATE:

FAQ’s regarding COVID-19 policies and procedures for Antioch employees

What happens if I have to miss work because of a COVID-19-related circumstance?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides job protection for coronavirus-related absences. Attached are a set of policies, approved by College Council and in alignment with the FFCRA, around COVID-19 absences. If you would like to discuss the specific options for your situation, please contact myself or Nancy Raffoul (nraffoul@antiochcollege.edu).

What happens if someone becomes ill?

Employees who are ill should not come to the workplace. If an employee becomes ill onsite, they should leave campus immediately and inform their supervisor or HR of the situation. Employees who have COVID-19 symptoms or have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, should contact HR immediately. The College will then work with Greene County Public Health officials to implement an action plan which could include contact tracing and quarantining for College personnel, depending on the situation.

Who is allowed on campus at this time?

While the State of Ohio is slowly reopening, on-campus work is still restricted to essential educational and operations functions that must occur onsite. Employees should continue to complete work remotely when possible.

Do I have to wear a mask?

As an office setting in the state of Ohio, employees are required to wear masks (see attached) when not in their individual offices. This requirement is to lessen the risk of exposure for employees, students, and other visitors on campus. We will help you find a mask! If you need one to work on campus and need help locating one, please contact me or Nancy Raffoul (nraffoul@antiochcollege.edu).


4/28 UPDATE:

Please read the “Responsible Protocols” issued by the State of Ohio on Monday, April 27. Campus operations and the work-from-home policy remain otherwise unchanged, and only those employees deemed “essential” should be on campus.​


3/21/2020 UPDATE

COVID-19 Pandemic Employee Work Location and Leave Policy

While Antioch College employees are typically expected to work on the physical campus of Antioch College, the College is implementing this temporary policy in response to safety concerns associated with the spread of COVID-19. 

Remote Work

Because of the extraordinary situation in the workplace caused by COVID-19, employees who can accomplish their work remotely will do so for a temporary period. We understand that employees might not be able to perform all of their job’s essential functions during this temporary period because they will be working remotely.  However, given these exigent circumstances, Antioch is temporarily adjusting its policies to allow remote work options.  Please understand that this is subject to change.

Remote work allows an employee to work all or part of the work week from a location other than campus. Employees working remotely are subject to all College policies and procedures.

Additionally, employees in a temporary remote work arrangement must agree to the following:

  • Employees working remotely will be solely responsible for the configuration of and all of the expenses associated with their remote workspace unless the College expressly agrees otherwise. This includes access to an Antioch College laptop or your private computer with internet access; a personal phone that you can use for Antioch business; and any other material or equipment needed during this time.
  • Remote working includes being fully available to colleagues during work hours (as agreed upon with your manager and communicated to your colleagues) via phone, email, Google Chat and/or Zoom.
  • Productive work is expected during remote work.
  • Expectations regarding attendance, communication, deliverables and measuring productivity must be established with your supervisor.
  • Institutional documents, reports, records and equipment must be securely stored and maintained in accordance with the College’s policies. Employees working remotely are responsible for the security of all Antioch College information that they access during this time.

All employees who are working remotely, including those working with dependents at home, must meet the expectations above.

If an employee’s manager deems that a temporary remote work arrangement is not working effectively or as envisioned at any time, the remote work arrangement can be revised or discontinued.

Employees who intend to work remotely should complete the Temporary Remote Work Form  which must then be approved by the employee’s manager and the Vice President of their respective area.

Leave

As an organization with fewer than 500 employees, Antioch College complies with the Families First Coronavirus Act (link). 

Family Leave 

Under this act, employees have as many as 12 weeks of job-protected leave if they must care for a dependent under 18 years old if the school or place of care for the child has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency. To be eligible the employee must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days. For the first 10 days of leave, employees may use sick time to cover work missed due to illness, care for children because of COVID-19 related closures of schools or day care centers, or for other breakdowns in care arrangements. Employees with insufficient accrued sick leave may use up to an additional 10 days of emergency administrative leave with documentation. Any administrative leave used during this unique situation will be deducted from vacation time should an employee no longer be employed by the college within 6 months. After the first 10 days of leave, employees will be paid at two-thirds regular rate of pay for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work; provided, however, that such paid leave is capped at $200/day. Paid leave will continue until the qualifying condition no longer exists, or after twelve weeks of leave have been taken. There is a $10,000 cap on the aggregate amount of paid leave paid to an employee.

Emergency Sick Leave

In addition to the College’s sick leave policy, the emergency sick leave for employees who cannot work for any of the following reasons:

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is either (1) subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or (2) has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
  5. The employee is caring for a dependent if the school or place of care of the dependent has been closed, or the child care provider of such dependent is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions;
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Full-time employees who meet the criteria above will receive 80 hours of paid sick leave. For part-time employees who meet the criteria above, emergency sick leave is the number of hours the employee works, on average, over a 2-week period. Emergency paid sick time does not carry over from one year to the next. Paid sick time not used at the time of an employee’s termination, resignation, or retirement will not be paid out to the employee.

Emergency sick leave is paid at the employee’s regular rate, subject to a maximum of $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate for qualifying conditions (A), (B), or (C) described above, and at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate, subject to a maximum of $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate for qualifying conditions (D), (E), or (F) described above.

Essential Personnel

The College remains open and its operations continue, albeit in a new, more remote and online environment. As such, Antioch College is encouraging and instructing all employees to work remotely if possible and to limit their time spent onsite to only essential activities.

In the event that Ohio should receive a “Shelter In Place” order, only individuals who are essential to Antioch’s ongoing operations will be allowed to remain physically on site. Note: Even individuals who are considered essential, should not come to campus if they are experiencing symptoms or have been around people who are experiencing symptoms. 

For the purposes of this policy, essential areas include:

  • Residential Life
  • Health Services
  • Public Safety
  • Finance
  • Food Service
  • Housekeeping and Maintenance
  • Wellness Center (Pool Maintenance)
  • Antioch Farm (Animal Care)
  • Glen Helen Raptor Center (Animal Care)
  • Information Technology

Even within essential areas, only the fewest number of employees necessary to work on campus to support the essential area should remain on campus. Area leaders will determine the staffing hours required to fulfill essential work.


Remote work resources:


EMPLOYEES IN GOOD HEALTH WHOSE WORK MUST BE PERFORMED ON CAMPUS

Many Antioch employees must work on campus to provide essential services. At this time, Antioch employees who are well and whose work must be performed on campus are expected to work on campus as usual. Exceptions include:

    • Employees who are caring for someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, in which case employees should report this to HR and self-quarantine;
    • Employees returning from any country designated as a CDC Level 3 area, who must self-quarantine for at least 14 days before returning to campus and follow CDC precautions;
    • Employees who have preexisting conditions that put them at high risk for COVID-19.

If you have an exception above or have questions or concerns about performing work on campus, please contact Hannah Montgomery (hmontgomery@antiochcollege.edu) or Nancy Raffoul (nraffoul@antiochcollege.edu).

EMPLOYEES WHO ARE SICK

Faculty and staff who have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath must stay home and should contact their health care provider. Employees on Antioch’s United healthcare plan can access uhc.com/virtualvisits to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19. Managers (with the support and involvement of HR as needed) should ask employees who are exhibiting such symptoms to go home and stay home until 24 hours after they are free of symptoms without the aid of medication. Employees exhibiting severe symptoms should contact their health care provider.

The health and well-being of our community is vital during this time. Employees may use sick time to cover work missed due to illness, care for children because of COVID-19 related closures of schools or day care centers, or for other breakdowns in care arrangements. Employees with insufficient accrued sick leave should contact HR about their situation (nraffoul@antiochcollege.edu; hmontgomery@antiochcollege.edu)

If you have questions about sick leave, please contact the Office of Human Resources (hmontgomery@antiochcollege.edu; nraffoul@antiochcollege.edu).

CHILDCARE NEEDS

We understand that employees may need to change their work schedule to accommodate childcare needs due to school closures. If you have questions about childcare as it relates to your work, please talk with your supervisor, so we can work with you to address these needs.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

During this time, we recognize that people are feeling higher levels of stress and anxiety. Please remember that you can seek support through Antioch’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 24/7. Visit Lincoln4benefits.com or www.GuidanceResources.com (please see March 13 email from Hannah Montgomery with login credentials) or talk to a specialist at 888-628-4824.

ELECTRONIC TIMESHEETS

Timesheets can be submitted with an electronic approval (email indicating approval from supervisor to payroll@antiochcollege.edu)

STUDENT EMPLOYEES

While student employees are not expected to work during this time, student employees can continue work if their work can be done remotely.

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED MEASURES

  • Wiping down workspaces: Facilities staff are working hard to provide additional cleaning and wiping down across campus. You can help by routinely wiping down your office door knobs, workstations, desks, and conference rooms after meetings. If you have disinfecting wipes to spare, please bring them in for your office. We have a limited supply.
  • Travel and Events: As announced, employees should not travel or attend events or gatherings on official College business until further notice. Additionally, we are strongly encouraging all members of the community to practice social distancing, and to avoid non-essential travel as well as large events and gatherings.
  • Travel survey: If you have upcoming travel plans or have traveled recently, please complete this form so we can follow up appropriately.

Thank you for the important work that you do for the College, and thank you for helping to demonstrate the responsible leadership, resilience, and spirit of community collaboration that is key to decreasing the risk and consequences for our community and the world beyond. While there will be short-term challenges and disruption, we believe these consequences are well worth the long-term health and safety benefits of acting sooner than later.

Illness Prevention Measures

On-campus work is still restricted to essential educational and operations functions that must occur onsite. Employees should continue to complete work remotely when possible.

View Responsible RestartOhio protocols for General Office Environments

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wear a mask when out in public (for those working on campus in essential roles, this includes wearing a mask when not in an enclosed individual workspace/office).
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or a bent elbow. Immediately throw tissues in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Keep all age recommended vaccines up to date including an annual flu vaccine
  • Follow the CDC’s specific guidance for travelers.

Strategies to Cope

As the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases continues to increase, rising anxiety related to the outbreak is expected. Although feeling anxiety in response to a threat is a normal human reaction, sustained high anxiety can become counterproductive to your wellbeing. People who already suffer from anxiety and related disorders are especially likely to have a hard time during the coronavirus crisis.

Director of Counseling Services Nzingha Dalila, EdD is available to students by the phone on through video chat 24/7. Check your email for details.

The following suggestions can help you deal with coronavirus anxiety:

1. Practice tolerating uncertainty

Intolerance of uncertainty makes people vulnerable to anxiety. People who have a harder time accepting the uncertainty of a situation are more likely to experience elevated anxiety. Learn to gradually face uncertainty in daily life by easing back on certainty-seeking behaviors. With finals, projects, travel plans, family concerns, and spring term expectations, life is full of stress. But trying to reduce the amount of energy exerted in seeking certainty in every possible decision and outcome can bring some emotional relief.

Start small: Don’t text your friend immediately the next time you need an answer to a question; work to reduce the number of times a day you consult the internet for updates on the outbreak.

2. Tackle the anxiety paradox

Anxiety rises proportionally to how much one tries to get rid of it. What you resist persists. Struggling against anxiety can take many forms. People might try to distract themselves with drinking, eating or watching Netflix more than usual. Or they might obsessively check news streams, hoping to calm their fears. Although these behaviors can help momentarily, they can make anxiety worse in the long run.

Instead, allow your anxious thoughts, feelings and physical sensations to wash over you, accepting anxiety as an integral part of human experience. When waves of coronavirus anxiety show up, notice and describe the experience to yourself without judgment. Resist the urge to escape or calm your fears by obsessively reading virus updates. Facing anxiety in the moment will lead to less anxiety over time.

3. Transcend existential anxiety

Health threats trigger the underlying fear of death. When faced with reminders of one’s own mortality, people might become consumed with health anxiety and hyper-focused on any signs of illness.

Try connecting to your life’s purpose and sources of meaning, be it spirituality, relationships, or pursuit of a cause. Embark on something important that you’ve been putting off and take responsibility for how you live your life now, in this moment. Focusing on or discovering the “why” of life can go a long way in helping you deal with unavoidable anxiety.

4. Don’t underestimate human resiliency

Many people fear how they will manage if the virus shows up in town, at work or at school. They worry about how they would cope with a quarantine or a lost paycheck. Human minds are good at predicting the worst. But research shows that people tend to overestimate how badly they’ll be affected by negative events and underestimate how well they’ll cope with and adjust to difficult situations. Be mindful that you are more resilient than you think. It can help to lessen your anxiety.

5. Don’t get sucked into overestimating the threat

Coronavirus can be dangerous. So everyone should be serious about taking all reasonable precautions against infection. But people also should realize that humans tend to exaggerate the danger of unfamiliar threats compared to ones they already know (like seasonal flu or car accidents). Constant incendiary media coverage contributes to the sense of danger, which leads to heightened fear and further escalation of perceived danger.

To reduce anxiety, limit exposure to coronavirus news to no more than 30 minutes per day. We become more anxious when faced with situations that have no clear precedent. Anxiety, in turn makes everything seem more dire.

6. Strengthen self-care

During these anxiety-provoking times, it’s important to remember the tried-and-true anxiety prevention and reduction strategies. Get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, spend time in nature and employ relaxation techniques when stressed.

Prioritizing these behaviors during the coronavirus crisis can go a long way toward increasing your psychological well being and bolstering your immune system.

7. Seek professional help if you need it

People who are vulnerable to anxiety and related disorders might find the coronavirus epidemic particularly overwhelming. Consequently, they might experience anxiety symptoms that interfere with work, maintaining close relationships, socializing or taking care of themselves. If this applies to you, please get professional help. For faculty and staff, mental health providers are available through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Counseling services are free and available to all students at Antioch College or, if you prefer, contact your insurance provider and find out if they have online mental health services or a list of providers in the area that accept your insurance to visit with a counselor off-camps. Nzingha can also help students connect with off- campus behavioral health services.

You may also wish to read the CDC report on Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19.

 

Flattening the Curve

Through the College’s actions, we are doing our part to reduce pressure on the healthcare system.

Local Residents and Campus Visitors

Wellness Center patrons: please see specific details in the Wellness Center toggle above.

The College respectfully requests that local residents and other guests observe our social distancing measures and ask that they avoid visiting campus.

The Birch Kitchen dining facility and Olive Kettering Library are currently restricted only to members of the campus community; no outside guests, please.

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