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Defeating Coronavirus with Emotional Intelligence

If you’ve been deeply troubled by the sudden panic gripping the world over the outbreak of the Coronavirus (especially in the last week or so when what many might see as irrational supermarket stockpiling has been taking place in New Zealand, Australia and the US and earlier in Hong Kong and Singapore) then, like me, you might be wondering what could be done to curb this panic and to calm the situation down.

Before I go on, I want to say that you’re not exactly going to cure the virus with a vaccine made from emotional intelligence! What you are going to do is to change your relationship with the people in your teams, your community and your world by changing how you look at the world. Because, when you change the way you see your world, your world changes.

You’re going to create a different mindset when dealing with the fear that the news of this virus has created.

So how do you do this? How do you use Emotional Intelligence to defeat this and every virus that emerges. There are six aspects of emotional intelligence that can be used to address the dystopia that has arisen from this.

First of all, we can change the way we look at people. In so many places in the world, Asians, for example are now viewed as ‘carriers’ of the coronavirus. ‘They’ created it, ‘they’ spread it. By stereotyping people as ‘carriers’ and ‘super-spreaders’, we degrade their sense of humanity and reduce them to something less than human. We turn them into a virus!

Put yourself in their shoes. Understand what they might be going through. What if it was you who was being called these names? How would you feel?

The first step in destroying hate and fear is a healthy dose of empathy!

Social Responsibility and Impulse Control

Demonstrate that you are a cooperative, contributing and constructive member of your social group! In this case, it means acting in a responsible manner. Don’t rush to the supermarkets to hoard food, water, hand sanitiser, masks and toilet paper. It’s easy to fall prey to fear! “Everyone’s doing it so I need to as well!”

Remember that fear breeds more fear which leads to anger and hate!

“The path to the dark side are these,” as Master Yoda says!

Buy only what you need to; ensure that supermarkets don’t run out of these products by not over-buying and hoarding.

Reality Testing

Reality testing is the ability to ‘assess the correspondence between what is experienced and what objectively exists.’ This is the capacity to see things objectively, the way they actually are, rather than the way we wish or fear them to be. Where it concerns the virus, don’t tune in to rumours and unsubstantiated stories. Assess every story against the facts. Check with health care providers or the World Health Organisation or your local hospital or GP. Be objective, don’t fear the worst, but at the same time, take off those rose-coloured glasses!

Interpersonal Relationships

Strengthen the relationships you already have with the people around you; your co-workers, your family, your friends, your community. Offer help if you can. When the rest of the world is drowning in fear, be a beacon of humanity to others!


When we are being inundated by the media with ever present statistics of how far the virus has spread and how many have succumbed to it, it is worthwhile assuming a measure of hope in your approach to life. Look on the brighter side of your life. Know that things will eventually get better as they have from every other outbreak in the world over the last few years. The first step to defeat is succumbing to pessimism. So take a different trail, put a different spin on things and start looking at what could go right!

Armed with these six emotional intelligence vaccines, you might just learn to overcome the viruses of fear, pessimism, falsehood and stereotyping that have gripped the world today.

If you'd like to learn more about how to use emotional intelligence in your daily life and work, contact me at


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