We have been here before, yet the dynamics were different. Polio, Typhoid, 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and a few others. There are some of us that are unphased by the panic stricken media outlets that we think back to the ending of the panic as a reference. Things will fall back into place, if anything we will push through this situation with a better sense of responsibility to our neighbors and our elders. Where does this panic come from?
Frenzy is an outward display of anxiety, the inability to control our situation causes this explosive outward expression. Shoppers fighting over toilet paper still amazes me, but hoarding in a psychological aspect is a type of attempt to control the environment that surrounds us. It isn’t the toilet paper, that is just a symbol of a greater struggle, it is the unknown that is scaring people to the point of panic.
In these moments there has to be two reflections. 1. How did we overcome the last overwhelming situation. 2. Was I really ever in control to begin with? I think back to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, I had just had a “live” root canal the Friday before (meaning there was no numbing used). I didn’t take the warning seriously, I lived across the street from the beach – as sirens rang I walked over to the shore line. It wasn’t windy, it was cloudy but not menacing. For the next 15 days, I had no heat and no electricity. Military Humvees were parked outside my home, we had to be home by a certain time and there was a snow storm right after the hurricane. My job told me that I was obligated to report, but there was no train, no bus and no gasoline. My parents were a 15 minute walk away, I would cook on the stove top (the oven didn’t work) and walk food over. They would walk food over to me. I wasn’t in control of the hurricane, I was relieved that I had gotten pain killers and antibiotics after the root canal. What filled me with concern was that I was locked in an apartment with my violent husband (we divorced in 2013). Perspective, right?
If I am saying anything, is that we have to push through and demonstrate the best of ourselves in these moments. Staying positive is not laughing while sitting in the electric chair, it is having a hard conversation about what is important and what isn’t. Giving ourselves perspective on what we can do and understand the events that we have no control over is how we push through. I live in the epicenter of our current outbreak, on 9/11 I was supposed to be on Church Street – we overcame and we will overcome. Relax, you got this! Big (virtual) Hug!