Emotions are always seen as s subjective aspect of our “extremely realistic” lives, from hysteria to indifference, from ignorance to an excess of scientific answers to a crisis that lacks precisely on accuracy. From not using masks, to feel fear to go outside. All feelings, subjective views from an objective reality that strikes all of us equally…at least on the emotional level. However, not all manage correctly the natural paranoia that is created for a virus that is extremely contagious and expanding and mutating rapidly to new shapes, demanding a state of alert and build new relationships within the community.
The own political measures suppose an emotional state of fear from leaders that see on prevention the only way to face it. Although it is also a culture that marks there strategy., each culture deals with societal emotions from different points of views. Nordic countries leave all to personal responsibility and fewer rules, except for using masks or social distancing, while Mediterranean countries aware of the need to be certain and create commitment through strong rules they see on imperative decisions the clue to success.
In the end, it is about emotional management, as anyone was prepared for the pandemic, is the State or/and the citizens that take the lead?. In any case, negative emotions of fear and panic represent the true bias and not the implementation of safety measures that have shown to be effective and drop drastically the average of deaths.
There is too much pressure “to go back to normal” as soon as possible, but is it really to settle the crisis or is it just about the emotional need to feel as “normal times”? Wouldn’t it be better to accept the crisis and work on alternatives to live the same but with a different shape? Is it not just about social distancing but about a green environment, the quarantine has helped to achieve what seemed to be impossible, therefore, going back to normal is it also about going back to a polluted environment….
There are lessons to be learned on resilience: personal and societally and we can not just miss the opportunity to build new emotional equipment that allows us to thrive more for ourselves and the planet. Anyway, we are walking in a direction that is demanding virtual relationships and creative exchanges, that is the reason to take this crisis as a sort of “rehearsal” of a new world and focuses on adaptation measures, instead of measures coming from the panic. Is it true, at local level maybe is not the answer but certainly is it the way to center our activities at global aspects –within a sense of global dimension.- Political leaders of all ideologies are focused on a local perspective, they are right, there are no time or resources for a global address of the pandemic but of reinforcing local strength within international coordination.
If health services were not prepared for the pandemic neither was our emotions, that are still dealing with the impact of the lockdown and trying to manage with the fear that is there –conscious or unconscious-. Not all the people were prepared for a situation that is out of their control and has an impact in so tangible way, but definitely what marks an inflection point is the idea that the State is there to deliver serenity. The State is not precisely an agent for managing emotions but a “machine of action” and accurate measures that tend to stop the pandemic as soon as possible. That is a substantial difference from the expectations that thousands of citizens are experimenting with: the idea that everything will be fine because of a State action and not from their commitment. On financial aspects is clear that public support is needed, but not necessary on emotional ones that only can be developed through a sense of individual resilience and connection –virtual- with the community. The wrong way to conceive a Welfare State: as a protector instead of results-driven machinery of delivering solutions for an exceptional crisis. Democracy has made of crisis a Government-centred agent rather than a partner of searching for solutions within a leadership role.
It is momentum to strengthen our emotions as well as maximize the potential of virtual resources. Belonging to virtual communities, participating in sessions of self-control and holistic approaches may be key to get into resilience personally and do not let our emotions betray our mission of keeping stability within uncertainty. Managing change is part of the challenge and emotions play a leadership role to make it happen. Uncertainty for the present and future, fear, panic, change of daily habits, all elements that are pushing out of our sphere of comfort and in which the correct balanced management makes a huge difference in real terms of achieving stability within the emergency.
As a difference from the 1918 Pandemic, we can live virtually and somehow independently, belonging to communities or finding our path of personal resilience. The tools for getting into resilience are accessible, virtual, and open to be used and that is the most important challenge of social media and the Internet: a chaotically network of information that demands a strong discipline from our side. In the end, emotional management is part of an attitude of goodwill and generosity to find solutions and do not wait for others to deliver it. It is a strong determination to look at those tools more suitable for our personality or living style and the capacity to isolate and connect more and better than ever. Quality of connections, fair information, and creativity represent those “three ladies” that makes a circle of individual and social resilience.
Like the sculpture -Terminal 4 Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain-, the Dreamer with the Realist and the Coquette, living differently but within common goals that allow them to share and connect pacifically..
Searching for personal resilience..