Coronavirus: Serena Williams struggling with anxiety due to social distancing


Even star athletes like Serena Williams are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who announced earlier this month she was spending the “next six weeks in solitude,” is having a difficult time dealing with anxiety due to social distancing, especially with concern for her 2-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia. She talked about it in a series of videos on TikTok.

From The Independent:

"I wanted to take a minute and talk about my experience with corona. It started out with me feeling like, 'Oh it can't really affect me.’

"And then suddenly Indian Wells was cancelled and I was like, 'Oh, OK, that's weird but I have a little time off and I'm going to enjoy that time off.

"And then one cancellation led to another and then led to another and led to all this anxiety that I'm feeling.

"Now I've been social distancing for actually a really long time, for probably two weeks now, and every little thing makes me crazy.

"And by anxiety I mean I'm just on edge. Any time anyone sneezes around me or coughs I get crazy. I don't hang out with anyone, and when I say anyone I mean my daughter.

"She coughed, I got angry and gave her a side-eye. I gave her that 'angry Serena' and then I got sad.

"I was like, 'Is she OK? Is there something wrong with my daughter? Is there anything I can do?' I just don't know what to do, so instead of being relaxed I'm really under a ton of stress."

At least Williams is taking this seriously, unlike some others. And everyone should be taking this seriously.

Athletes who have already tested positive for coronavirus include NBA players Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Durant and Marcus Smart, and NFL head coach Sean Payton. Many more athletes have tested positive in just about every sport but their names haven’t been released, and many more will likely be diagnosed with COVID-19 before this pandemic is over.


But there’s good news for Williams and anyone else dealing with anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic. In a story from In the Know, Lori Greene, a Ph.D. clinical psychologist in Westchester County, N.Y., said it’s "completely normal" to feel "confused and overwhelmed" at an unfamiliar time like this.

“Anxiety has this way of causing us to predict things in a catastrophic way,” Greene told In The Know. “We tend to see the future as worse than it probably will be. Eventually, we’ll all be OK. But it’s hard to see that right now.”

The ATP and WTA tours have suspended all events through at least June 7.

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