The recent snow storm showed just how dramatic we can be. With the news, hyped up by media (of course!) that there was an impending snow storm headed our way, people freaked out. The reports were of ice and snow, but likely a two day event. This information should prompt preparedness. Ensure you have what you need for a few extra days, make sure your loved ones have what they need, make proper arrangements in case you are unable to get to work or do your daily activities, etc.
Instead, many flocked to the grocery stores, bought food as if the world was ending, canceled appointments, called off work ahead of time, businesses closed, and people panicked. Most of this was done prior to the projected storm days. Some will say that this was preparedness, but when you go too far, it becomes panic.
A better example is the COVID pandemic. This has been so mishandled. It is clear that there are bigger agendas at play, as our actions have been so ineffective and disastrous. We knew early on, and know now, that the most at-risk are the elderly and the sick. As humans, we get sick. We have always gotten sick. We will always get sick. So, sickness is not the biggest concern. Deaths are the concern. And we know that the most vulnerable to death were older, obese, and those struggling with comorbidities (diabetes, immune issues, lung issues, etc.). I know there were younger, apparently healthy people that have died, but MOST deaths were in the unhealthy population.
So… we had options. We could shelter in place, avoid each other, and avoid touching anything with our hands…which is paralysis. We could shut down businesses and churches, make kids go to remote learning, and quarantine healthy people… which is panic. Or we could work to protect the most vulnerable, educate the public on health-building strategies, and work to ensure the public has access and tools to move out of their high risk status… which would be preparedness.
When you are struck with a crisis, you have choices to make. If fear is involved, paralysis and panic are popular responses. But paralysis leaves you vulnerable, does nothing to enhance your situation, and is a terrible strategy. Panic usually stems from thinking doing something is better than nothing, is often done without thinking about long-term consequences, and often leads to poor decisions and catastrophic outcomes. I recommend preparedness. Get as much information as you can, assess the situation as best you can, anticipate multiple possible outcomes, then PREPARE. We are very good at anticipating, analyzing, strategizing, preparing, and adapting. But these are all actions. Action is much better than paralysis. Controlled action is better than panic.
Panic and paralysis can be a natural human response to a crisis, but it is critical to shake out of that as soon as possible, move into preparedness, and ultimately take massive action. This is how we not only survive, but thrive… even in the toughest of times.