Updated: Mar 24, 2020
I can understand being concerned about your friends and family - especially because you are not able to be with them.
To start, I recommend that you explore the CDC or WHO COVID-19 sites. If you can familiarize yourself with the information and educate your family about how to protect themselves, you may feel more empowered, knowing that they will be taking the appropriate steps to lessen their risks.
Also, although you can’t be with them in-person, you can connect with them in other ways such as video chat, email, telephone, and texting. By staying in touch and checking in with them, you may feel more at ease, because you will be able to see how they are doing, while also reminding them of the appropriate steps to take.
Also, make sure to maintain some normality by talking about topics other than COVID-19 with them.
Finally, make sure to take breaks from watching the news. While it is important to stay informed, the 24-7 coverage of it can be upsetting, and will likely increase your feelings of anxiety about your loved ones.
Dr. Patricia Thompson