Updates and information about Antioch College’s continued preparedness, action, and response to the Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
College Council and leadership, supported by a situational COVID-19 Safety Committee and other College staff, are 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.
The Wellness Center remains closed at this time
Please visit the Glen Helen website for information and updates about operations.
Local Residents and Campus Visitors
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.
Wellness Center patrons: please see specific details in the Wellness Center toggle above.
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.
- 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 phone or 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.