How are you doing? Remember when you’d automatically say “Fine”? Now nobody is fine.
We’re all programmed from our caveman days with a fight-or-flight system, but there’s a big difference between a predator stepping out in front of us and COVID-19.
They’re both threats, but the predator is what we’d call an acute short-term threat. This is really what our system was developed to handle. There’s something there, I have to do something now and you do something.
With COVID the threat is chronic. It’s there all the time. Not only is it chronic, it’s undefined, it’s ambiguous, and it’s not even just the virus. It’s the economic impact of the virus, it’s the lifestyle changes, it’s the isolation, it’s the not being able to hug people we would like to hug, that is all feeding into this threat system.
We really evolved to take on short-term acute threats. We attack it, we deal with it, or we run away. Either way, within a short period of time, the incident may be over and then we can relax and get down from it. But in a situation like the COVID situation we’re in now, we don’t even know how long this is going to go on, and it’s a threat at multiple levels, very significant levels for a very long time. So it’s a chronic threat of the most extreme kind and that is not what our system was designed to handle.