On the surface, the recent panic buying witnessed after the announcement of the first corona virus case locally may appear to be hysteria.
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However, panic buying is actually rooted in deep psychological trauma. When exposed to a new threat, fear, driven by excessive social and conventional media coverage, lack of factual knowledge and a history of unresolved trauma from previous events such as post-election violence, leaves people feeling powerless and vulnerable.
Panic buying is a way of taking control of an uncontrolled situation. It is a way of self-preservation when faced with the fear of the unknown.
In order to reduce current levels of fear and anxiety, it is important for citizens to feel informed and prepared. Recent steps by the government have gone some way to allaying fears. Focusing on offical communications from formally recognised organisations can dilute the threat of imminent death.
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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke