We did not go from 0 to 100 in a matter of days
Trauma science lesson of the day: We did not go from 0 to 100 in a matter of days.
I often hear the phrase "He/she seems to go from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds for no reason." My first response is always "He/she was not at 0. This person probably hasn't seen 0 in years, if ever, not even when asleep". Truth is, they were probably revving, surviving at about a 90.
This applies to groups of people too. In fact, trauma science tells us that whatever symptoms, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings we associate with an individual in trauma can and should be applied to groups of individuals in trauma as well. That includes us as a state, a nation, and a global community.
We were not at zero before COVID-19. Not even close. But we are so accustomed to our chronic state of hyper-arousal, hyper-stimulation, judgment, fear, busy-ness, and survival mode that it felt normal, like zero, our baseline.
But we were probably closer to about 60-90, depending on your individual circumstances and constitution. Revving way up high but just below the threshold to blend in, survive, execute your day without drawing attention.
And then a global pandemic entered the scene. A GLOBAL PANDEMIC!
For individuals, or a large group of individuals, say 330M (approx US population), revving at a baseline between 60-90, it's easy to see how we very quickly got to 100+. And our hyper-arousal, hyper-stimulation, judgment, fear and busy-ness runneth over.
This will pass. Nature will see to it. We will either help or hinder. But afterwards, it will take time to get back to baseline.
And perhaps, we will learn to rev a little lower, not zero per se, but maybe 30-40. Eat slower. Take a walk. Express gratitude. Be slower to judge each other and ourselves. BREATHE. So that when the next crisis comes (and we know it will), we will weather it better, smarter, calmer, safer.
This is learning. This is growth. And it is the antidote to trauma.