How a rubber band helps me remain calm, focused

Published 10:39 am Thursday, March 12, 2020

I am not one of those folks who can walk through life with a laid-back approach to living.

Fear and anxiety are two of my nemeses, so I have to work diligently to keep worry and concern from overtaking my thoughts at times.

I even wear a rubber band around my wrist, so anytime negative or crazy thoughts enter my head, I just give myself a pop.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Admittedly, I have yearned for more of a “Que sera sera” type of attitude, but figure that somewhere between these two extremes would be the optimum place to be.

That balance should certainly be observed with COVID-19.

Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the global coronavirus a pandemic.

For worriers like me, hearing this could set off all the alarms that live in our heads, while also directing our thoughts to “worst-case scenarios.”

And let me just say, living with anxiety is no fun. Thank goodness everyone is not like me. Otherwise, this updated news report could cause a panic.

Obviously, pandemonium is not the answer, but thumbing your nose at the situation isn’t either.

Although everyone is susceptible to the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control website states those at the highest risk of developing more serious complications are older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions.

However, just because you may not fit into either of these categories, does not give you a pass to throw caution to the wind.

Coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, therefore everyone should take steps to prevent the spread.

Just hours after finishing the first draft of this column, the first presumptive positive case of the virus in Mississippi was reported in Hattiesburg.

There is no doubt more cases of COVID-19 will appear. The question is how will we respond. My hopes are with a combination of continued precaution and calm.

I am speaking to myself, as well as all the others who err on the side of apprehension.

When your heart races and breathing becomes short and fast, much effort is needed to still the distress.

Hearing about the spread of coronavirus can certainly serve as a catalyst, so for me, I will continue to use some of my coping mechanisms, which now include implementing spiritual and educational reading material into my daily routine.

Certainly, the coronavirus can divvy out anxiety, but the best defense is to stay calm and follow the CDC’s guidelines, like washing your hands, to prevent the disease.

And for those stressing over the shortage of hand sanitizer, rubber bands can be readily found.


Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart