Stay at home orders got you down? Ready to rise in rebellion and join the revolution? Wide-ranging reactions to the Coronapocalypse are COMPLETELY NORMAL. During the COVID-19 crisis one thing you don’t really have to worry about is the permanent loss of your sanity. At least this is the theory I’m going with. We are just coping here people!
Necessary disclaimer: However accurate and insightful, @foundersgirl is not a doctor of any kind, nor licensed in anything credible. She makes no validated behavioral recommendations and claims no responsibility for the actions of any readers who have voluntarily subjected themselves to the following musings and assertions.
How many stages of Corona Coping have you experienced, how many will you circle back through before the madness ends?
Stage 1: Global Pandemic Shock
There is a reportedly nasty virus that started in China. We don’t know a lot about it, but IT IS HERE.
Fight and flight?
Information please. If you went straight to the Google and / or various media sources looking for answers, you probably didn’t find a whole lot. At least not a lot that was accurate. If you’re a data junkie, you hated the early stages of the outbreak. None of the data aligned, rumors were rampant, and numbers changed daily. Actually wait; this is still ongoing.
If you weren’t consumed with the quest to gather information, maybe you ran right out to save everyone and everything in a panic-induced state of frenzied action. Did you thoroughly prep for months of self-quarantine? Call all of your loved ones to make sure they weren’t in China in the past 10 years? Buy ALL OF THE TOILET PAPER?
Don’t feel too bad about your initial reaction. You were in a state of shock. It was likely brought on by media sensationalism and the unknown. If you overbought certain supplies (read: toilet paper), go ahead and share with your neighbors who played it cool and under prepared. Forgiveness can be bought one roll at a time, guys.
Stage 2: Denial
What’s the big deal?
Many will come in and out of this stage as we now live in constant disbelief over the current state of modern life. Something about the COVID-19 and the way it unfolded just doesn’t add up. You don’t have to put on a tinfoil hat to acknowledge that the reaction to the virus outpaced the spread. Disinformation and inaccurate information from around the world and throughout the media contribute to feelings of skepticism and disbelief.
Or maybe you just don’t really feel the impact. If you’re not in a risk group for contracting the ‘rona, are considered an essential employee, and have plenty of toilet paper, then maybe you can just ignore the insanity blasted on every news channel, social media network, and the less-crowded water cooler chit chat. But dude, ya still can’t go to the park or stop at the local pub. Can’t pretend this is normal forever.
Stage 3: Anger
What the hell are we doing?
Having experienced a lifetime of freedoms and all of its associated luxuries, at some point most of us are realizing that having it revoked to such a degree is hard to accept. In fact, it’s infuriating. Responsible, self-sufficient, independent adults HATE being told what and what not to do. This is compounded when mandates prevent one from running a business, earning an income, and supporting a family. You’re not really a mad(wo)man; you have reached the pinnacle of frustration and most would-be coping mechanisms have also been eliminated by the powers that be.
Frustration leads to irritability. Compounding the building ire is the fact that many of us are trapped with our loved ones. Yes we love our nearest and dearest, those we married and those we spawned. But do we like them? For an uninterrupted and unforeseeable amount of time in close quarters? Without external influence and relief? Grab your earbuds. Find your own space for a while, a closet or bathtub if you have to. Then get your rear back into the family room and play another board game. No one is going to forget about this time or how we spent it.
Stage 4: Bargaining
Enter the face masks.
Maybe if you follow all of the precautions for social distancing (I was never a hugger anyway), wash your hands religiously (like more than you already should), drain those excess bottles of hand sanitizer you purchased, stop touching every surface that you have not personally disinfected, and wear a mask that you made out of dirty socks (saw it on YouTube), then you can just go on about your business and get life back to normal. It’s a small price to pay right?
Except. When you find yourself at the grocery store with all of the other freaks in their hazmat suits and the overly observant Karens you will be hit with the realization that NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL. It doesn’t matter what you do or what you convince yourself of - the world is simply not on its usual axis. Minding the stickers on the floor is not going to make it all go away, you are not in control of the Coronapocalypse or any of the ramifications - at all.
Stage 5: Depression
This is awful.
So we aren’t in control. We can’t stop it. We can’t do what we want. This is it. We are going to die in our homes with a mountain of toilet paper and people who are tired of us. Honestly this section is all a little too depressing for me to personally address. I have been here. It’s dark. It’s hopeless and it hinges on the feeling that this is NEVER going to end and life will never return to anything resembling normal.
We know it won’t actually go on *forever,* but not having a timeline or a certain idea of what lies ahead is rough. Let’s not dwell here. Drag your mind on to the next stage, we need something else to think about.
Stage 6: Testing
Harnessing the inner rebel.
When you can’t wallow in frustration and despair anymore, you start thinking about what you can do. Good and fed up? Ready to buck authority? Start a revolution? ME TOO.
Let’s be realistic though, while I’m dabbling in therapeutic (for entertainment purposes only) endeavors. You can’t go to the public park. But you can hop the fence in your neighbor’s back yard and charge off into the great unkempt and unknown hills of your hometown. OK, that’s what I like to do. But, you start finding ways to make this work. You have to wear a face mask to work? Well that’s stupid and it sucks, but you still have a job - so make it a humorous one and put the damn thing on.
Lifehack loopholes, this is unknown territory - anything is worth a try. This is survival mode. Do what works. Maintain your sanity. Mind your safety. Enjoy cold pizza and vodka for breakfast if you feel like it, Karen’s attention is focused elsewhere right now.
All of that fluffy feel better crap being said, there is nothing wrong with plotting a rebellion in your mind. Just in case this absurd situation actually refuses to succumb to a natural end. We’ll be more than ready to overthrow the insanity and move on, if and when necessary.
Stage 7: Acceptance
Yeah. We’re not here yet.
Dateline February 16th 2020: To the roar of a 100,000-strong crowd chanting “USA! USA! USA!,” Air Force One performed a very low altitude flyover of the Daytona International Speedway shortly before the start of the 62nd running of the famous Daytona 500 NASCAR race.
Shortly thereafter, the presidential limousine known as The Beast entered the infield at the track and at 3:07 P.M. EST, President Donald J. Trump gave the order “Gentlemen, start your engines!” He then climbed back into The Beast with the First Lady and led the field in the initial lap around the famous circuit.
Almost immediately, outrage and criticism from the usual suspects began to surface on social media. Writers from Politico, New York Times, PoliticusUSA, CNN, and many others took to their Twitter accounts to deride the president and anyone cheering for him. As has become the media’s custom, they were all petty and childish in their tirades. What they tried to ignore, however, was the uncomfortable fact that President Trump pulled off a political boost that Democrats can only dream of at this point: Showing up in high style at a world-famous gathering of 100,000-plus people, most of whom support you and your policies. Trump showed them that he cares about them, their lives, their sport, and their support. Condemned for turning the Daytona 500 into a now-famous ‘Trump Rally,’ the president did what every Democrat in the 2020 primary race should be doing, but can’t seem to pull off: He connected with large quantities of his voting base.
What got Donald Trump to the Oval Office in 2016 was his simple message of Make America Great Again along with his willingness to put himself at his supporters’ level both physically and verbally. Instead of berating Americans and pointing out how horrible this nation’s current situation was because of all the alleged injustices, Trump spent 2016 telling his supporters that America can return to her former glory and be a better place for everyone here legally. As crude as his speeches were (and are) at times, this basic message resonated with hard working Americans looking to escape the constant condescending negativity heaped upon them from the elites during the Obama years.
Trump is still finding large crowds eager to support him while he pushes his next simple message in 2020: Keep America Great. This should terrify the Democrat candidates trying to unseat him in 2020. None of the current Democrat hopefuls seems to be able to pull more than a few hundred people together at any given time, let alone twenty or thirty thousand cheering supporters filling a concert hall with hundreds standing outside in the cold watching a big screen presentation of the event. Likewise, enthusiasm in the Democratic Party is noticeably low, replaced with the self-flagellation of social justice causes and climate change panic. The constant infighting between hard left socialist / communists, wealthy establishment Democrats, and big union leaders has also left the party without a clear direction and void of a simple message. Finally, the current field of Democrat primary candidates are much too focused on what they should ban, restrict, and control to worry about basic American values like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They smell of oppression and the average independent voter is picking up the stench.
President Trump’s best strategy is to keep mingling with the masses, pushing his simple message of American greatness and ignoring the snorting intellectual elites who cannot seem to grasp the obvious voter revolution that occurred against D.C.’s ‘swamp’ in 2016. Showing up matters, both in venues like the Daytona 500 and in policies that have pulled this nation out of the tailspin it was in for the eight years of Obama's reign. The Democrats are several laps down, and the checkered flag is coming into view.
Donald J. Trump will not be president forever. House Democrats will almost certainly fail in their efforts to effectively overthrow the duly elected president, so it is safe to assume Trump has anywhere from one to five more years in the Oval Office. No matter what, that time will pass quickly, much as the last three years have, and then Donald Trump’s administration will end. It is also safe to assume that there will be no shortage of articles addressing the ’aftermath’ of the Trump presidency. Anyone astute enough can predict the content regarding the left’s perceived ’loss of respect on the world stage,’ and ’years of being the laughingstock,’ along with the ’damage to our nation that needs to be repaired.’ There will be, however, an even larger fallout after the last vestige of President Trump vanishes from the White House. Post-Trump America is already coming into view, but the changes may not be what many on the left are expecting.
One of the biggest changes may be how the average informed voter views the deeply entrenched ’establishment’ in Washington D.C. When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, establishment Democrats and Republicans alike attacked him. Most GOP resisters only started to support him after a year of economic successes and personnel changes. Others, of course, joined in with leftists in everything but admitting it - the McCain Republican types. Democrats, on the other hand, became more embittered and emboldened in their efforts to eject the outsider from office as time passed. Both parties are staking their future on the hope that America has a short memory, and this could prove to be a losing bet. Post-Trump Republicans will no longer be able to shrug their shoulders and ’play nice’ when the Democrats attack their policies and platforms. Trump has shown voters what happens when you stand up to the political bullies on the left and punch back. Voters on the right will expect this action from the GOP for the foreseeable future, and they will expect retaliation when Democrats attempt to vilify the conservative base as they are prone to do. Likewise, voters on the left will be forced to choose either the hard-left socialism that has infiltrated the Democratic party via extremists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and their ilk, or become independents forced to vote for the ’lesser of their perceived evils’.
Likewise, Donald Trump will leave many Americans’ expectations of global policies altered. After several years of allowing nations like China to create a trade deficit and place tariffs on American goods, President Trump has begun working to balance trade with foreign nations. Countries that have continued to bully and threaten the United States have found themselves in a stare down with the most powerful nation on earth and have backed off. People expecting to illegally waltz across American borders are finding themselves forced to abide by our laws: Enter our country legally or be escorted back out. Complain and threaten as they may, the left has yet to come up with a viable alternative to the current immigration laws that Trump asked for within the first year of his presidency. All of these policies add up to a strong sovereign nation, regardless of what the Democrats and their mainstream media mouthpieces suggest in their now-hourly (fake) panics.
While on the subject of the mainstream media, they will also suffer dramatic repercussions after Donald Trump leaves office. Having spent the last three years fighting the president and impaling their careers on the sword of leftist narrative, the mainstream media’s credibility continues to plummet. From ABC News’ Brian Ross reporting that Trump told Flynn to make contact with the Russian government while he was still a candidate, to the July 27, 2018 CNN story falsely reporting that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Mueller that the President knew about the Trump Tower meeting in advance, the media has tripped over itself trying to release the ’bombshell news’ that would finally cause the outsider president to leave the Oval Office. It has been the same media, however, which has had to retract story after story, and lie after lie, when the pesky social media swarm finds out the truth and calls them out. The result of their blatant misreporting has left a once-reliable media less trusted than Congress. Likewise, many once respected conservative bloggers and contributors threw their status and reputations in the dumpster and risk removing themselves from the conservative conversation altogether. Right-leaning voters watched with disgust as Bill Kristol, Tom Nichols, Jennifer Rubin, Max Boot, along with others suffering from advanced Trump Derangement Syndrome seemed to align their political philosophies with the hard left mainstream media in everything but name. Many news outlets have already been forced to downsize or close their doors for good due to people turning away in disgust and searching for more, er, reliable sources. This unreliability only promises to be more problematic if Donald Trump wins the 2020 election.
The 'aftermath' of the Trump presidency promises to affect the political and media establishments far greater than it will average voters, who are now enjoying low unemployment rates, higher pay, and fewer regulations. It is those very politicians and journalists who are bringing the Armageddon upon themselves, however. They truly cannot comprehend that ’we the people’ can see their self-destructive behavior and they will inevitably attempt to spin the narrative in a futile effort to convince America of their persecution while under the Trump administration. Only the weak minded will buy into their story.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.