We suggest, as have the experts, that key messages be reinforced and that we as psychologists can play a key role in the behavioral analysis to support adherence to recommended protocols. Key messages include:
- Promote Hygiene and Behavioral modifications
- Meet the needs of the most vulnerable including the elderly and those with chronic health issues
- Mitigate the impact on children, stemming from family stress - from child care to closed schools, and possibly self-quarantined adult family members.
- Support our colleagues and health care providers and their competence and stress levels particularly in light of the strained capacity of the medical system to respond to increased care demands.
- Mitigate against the impact of fear, anxiety and panic as it relates to mental health as well as public and social behaviors.
- Use peer pressure positively: through promoting the message that we are our brothers'/sisters' keepers, through "nudging" each other and providing information to encourage healthy behavior and help create new norms.
- Promote self-quarantining to minimize risk that one poses to others. Examine and address the other risks that may come from quarantine in high risk families where dangerous behaviors such as family violence and child molestation increase.
- Consider the ways in which other services may be engaged in the response to the pandemic E.g. use of a hotline to provide information to the general public inclusive of what resources and protocols exist. Be sure to keep in mind the timeliness and consistency of the message.