The Alliance is thinking of our consumers during this time of crisis. To stay up to date on everything happening with The Corona Virus in Seattle & King County, go to Additionally, you may contact your IL Specialist via phone or email, or contact us at either of our main lines.

Seattle: 206.545.7055


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During this time, information can be our best defense against anxiety. Check the list for helpful online resources!

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What Is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is a way to keep people from
interacting closely or frequently enough to spread
an infectious disease. Schools and other gathering
places such as movie theaters may close, and sports
events and religious services may be cancelled.

What Is Quarantine?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement
of people who have been exposed to a contagious
disease to see if they become sick. It lasts long
enough to ensure the person has not contracted
an infectious disease

What Is Isolation?

Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease
by separating people who are sick from those who
are not. It lasts as long as the disease is contagious.
In the event of an infectious disease outbreak,
local officials may require the public to take
measures to limit and control the spread of the
disease. This tip sheet provides information about
social distancing, quarantine, and isolation.
The government has the right to enforce federal
and state laws related to public health if people
within the country get sick with highly contagious
diseases that have the potential to develop into
outbreaks or pandemics.
This tip sheet describes feelings and thoughts
you may have during and after social distancing,
quarantine, and isolation. It also suggests ways
to care for your behavioral health during these
experiences and provides resources for more help.

What To Expect: Typical Reactions

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations
such as an infectious disease outbreak that
requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation.
People may feel:

  • Anxiety, worry, or fear related to:
    Your own health status
  • The health status of others whom you may
    have exposed to the disease
  • The resentment that your friends and family
    may feel if they need to go into quarantine
    as a result of contact with you
  • The experience of monitoring yourself, or
    being monitored by others for signs and
    symptoms of the disease
  • Time taken off from work and the potential
    loss of income and job security
  • The challenges of securing things you need,
    such as groceries and personal care items
  • Concern about being able to effectively care
    for children or others in your care
  • Uncertainty or frustration about how long
    you will need to remain in this situation, and
    uncertainty about the future
  • Loneliness associated with feeling cut off
    from the world and from loved ones
  • Anger if you think you were exposed to the
    disease because of others’ negligence
  • Boredom and frustration because you
    may not be able to work or engage in regular
    day-to-day activities
  • Uncertainty or ambivalence about the situation
  • A desire to use alcohol or drugs to cope
  • Symptoms of depression, such as feelings
    of hopelessness, changes in appetite, or
    sleeping too little or too much
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress
    disorder (PTSD), such as intrusive
    distressing memories, flashbacks (reliving
    the event), nightmares, changes in thoughts
    and mood, and being easily startled
    If you or a loved one experience any of these
    reactions for 2 to 4 weeks or more, contact your
    health care provider or one of the resources at
    the end of this tip sheet.

Ways To Support Yourself During
Social Distancing, Quarantine, and

    Consider the real risk of harm to yourself and
    others around you. The public perception of risk
    during a situation such as an infectious disease
    outbreak is often inaccurate. Media coverage may
    create the impression that people are in immediate
    danger when really the risk for infection may be
    very low. Take steps to get the facts:
    • Stay up to date on what is happening, while
      limiting your media exposure. Avoid watching
      or listening to news reports 24/7 since this tends
      to increase anxiety and worry. Remember that
      children are especially affected by what they
      hear and see on television.
    • Look to credible sources for information on the
      infectious disease outbreak
    • Sources for Reliable Outbreak-
      Related Information

      • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
        1600 Clifton Road
        Atlanta, GA 30329-4027
        1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
        World Health Organization
        Regional Office for the Americas of the World
        Health Organization
        525 23rd Street, NW
        Washington, DC 20037
        Speaking out about your needs is particularly
        important if you are in quarantine, since you
        may not be in a hospital or other facility where
        your basic needs are met. Ensure you have what
        you need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable.

      • Work with local, state, or national health
        officials to find out how you can arrange for
        groceries and toiletries to be delivered to
        your home as needed.
      • Inform health care providers or health
        authorities of any needed medications and
        work with them to ensure that you continue
        to receive those medications.
      • Educate Yourself
        Health care providers and health authorities should
        provide information on the disease, its diagnosis,
        and treatment
      • Do not be afraid to ask questions
        Clear communication with a health care provider
        may help reduce any distress associated with
        social distancing, quarantine, or isolation.
      • Ask for written information when available

      • Ask a family member or friend to obtain
        information in the event that you are unable
        to secure this information on your own.

        If you’re unable to work during this time, you
        may experience stress related to your job status
        or financial situation
        • Provide your employer with a clear explanation
          of why you are away from work.
        • Contact the U.S. Department of Labor tollfree
          at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
          about the Family and Medical Leave Act
          (FMLA), which allows U.S. employees up to
          12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious medical
          conditions, or to care for a family member
          with a serious medical condition.
      • Contact your utility providers, cable and
        Internet provider, and other companies from
        whom you get monthly bills to explain your
        situation and request alternative bill payment
        arrangements as needed.
        Reaching out to people you trust is one of
        the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression,
        loneliness, and boredom during social distancing,
        quarantine, and isolation. You can:
        • Use the telephone, email, text messaging,
          and social media to connect with friends,
          family, and others.
        • Talk “face to face” with friends and loved
          ones using Skype or FaceTime.

        • If approved by health authorities and your
          health care providers, arrange for your friends
          and loved ones to bring you newspapers,
          movies, and books.
        • Sign up for emergency alerts via text or email
          to ensure you get updates as soon as they
          are available.
        • Call SAMHSA’s free 24-hour Disaster Distress
          Helpline at 1-800-985-5990, if you feel lonely
          or need support.
        • Use the Internet, radio, and television to keep
          up with local, national, and world events
        • If you need to connect with someone
          because of an ongoing alcohol or drug
          problem, consider calling your local
          Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics
          Anonymous offices.
        If you are in a medical facility, you may have
        access to health care providers who can answer
        your questions. However, if you are quarantined
        at home, and you’re worried about physical
        symptoms you or your loved ones may be
        experiencing, call your doctor or other health
        care provider:
        • Ask your provider whether it would be possible
          to schedule remote appointments via Skype
          or FaceTime for mental health, substance
          use, or physical health needs.
        • In the event that your doctor is unavailable and
          you are feeling stressed or are in crisis, call
          the hotline numbers listed at the end of this tip
          sheet for support.
        • Relax your body often by doing things that work
          for you—take deep breaths, stretch, meditate
          or pray, or engage in activities you enjoy.
        • Pace yourself between stressful activities
        • and do something fun after a hard task.
        • Talk about your experiences and feelings to
          loved ones and friends, if you find it helpful.
        • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking;
          consider keeping a journal where you write
          down things you are grateful for or that are
          going well.
After Social Distancing,
Quarantine, or Isolation

You may experience mixed emotions, including
a sense of relief. If you were isolated because
you had the illness, you may feel sadness or
anger because friends and loved ones may have
unfounded fears of contracting the disease from
contact with you, even though you have been
determined not to be contagious.
The best way to end this common fear is to learn
about the disease and the actual risk to others.
Sharing this information will often calm fears in
others and allow you to reconnect with them.
If you or your loved ones experience symptoms
of extreme stress—such as trouble sleeping,
problems with eating too much or too little,
inability to carry out routine daily activities, or
using drugs or alcohol to cope—speak to a
health care provider or call one of the hotlines
listed to the right for a referral.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions
such as sadness, depression, anxiety, or feel
like you want to harm yourself or someone
else, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Helpful Resources


  • SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline
    Toll-Free: 1-800-985-5990 (English and español)
    SMS: Text TalkWithUs to 66746
    SMS (español): “Hablanos” al 66746
    TTY: 1-800-846-8517
    Website (English):
    Website (español):
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    Toll-Free (English): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    Toll-Free (español): 1-888-628-9454
    TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
    Website (English):
    Website (español):”
    Treatment Locator
    Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
    SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center
    Toll-Free: 1-800-308-3515
    *Note: Inclusion or mention of a resource in this fact sheet does not imply endorsement
    by the Center for Mental Health Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
    Services Administration, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    HHS Publication No. SMA-14-4894
    Toll-Free: 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) | |