Practical Guidance from COVID Support VT Clinical Psychologist

As the Omicron variant sweeps through the state, more Vermonters find themselves or a family member testing positive for Covid. We all probably know someone who’s sick with Covid and in isolation. And many of us can count ourselves in the case numbers. 

“Being in isolation and sick with COVID can be worrisome,” says Cath Burns, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and clinical supervisor for COVID Support VT. “It can feel overwhelming, adding another layer of anxiety onto an already stressful background.” Burns, who is also the Quality Director for Vermont Care Partners, has been there. She and her family had to go into isolation after testing positive just before the holidays. 

Tips for Coping with Isolation Anxiety 

At times like these, self-care is vital, Burns says. First and foremost, be sure to check in with your health care provider and follow their recommendations. Arm yourself with the information you need to make cogent decisions about your health and how best to proceed with any medical treatment. 

In a recent short video, she shared practical tips to help manage your anxiety while you are ill.  

  • Take it one hour at a time. 
  • Find things to do that are enjoyable and restful like listening to a story, reading, watching a movie, or doing a puzzle.
  • Connect with people who care about you through text and video regularly. “They want to hear from you,” Burns says.
  • Take care of your symptoms and do things that help you to feel better, such as taking a bath.
  • Ask people to bring you what you need. Be specific. People will want to help.
  • Call one of the COVID Support VT counselors (2-1-1, option 2). “We are here for you. We can help you find resources, help, whatever you need.”

Learn More and Find Resources

Watch the short video with Cath Burns.

Find resources for self-care and stress management on

Join one of our workshops to learn strategies for coping with stress and managing anxiety.

Learn What to Do if You’re Sick from the CDC.

Blog written by Brenda Patoine on behalf of VCN/Vermont Care Partners for COVID Support Vermont, a grant funded by FEMA and the Vermont Department of Mental Health

Need to Talk?

Call 2-1-1 (in Vermont) for assistance.

In Crisis? 

If you or someone you care for is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can: call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-825; text VT to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor 24/7; connect with your local community mental health center for 24/7 support. 

Find Help

Find resources and tools for coping with stress at

One-click translation to 100 languages of most everything on the website, plus Multilingual Resources.

Find your local community mental health center by visiting Vermont Care Partners.

COVID Support VT is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, managed by Vermont’s Department of Mental Health, and administered by Vermont Care Partners, a statewide network of 16 non-profit community-based agencies providing mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disability services and supports. 

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