By Ryan Humphries
Danger is real.
Fear on the other hand, that's a choice.
Pretty sure that was a Will Smith quote from his movie “After Earth” but whoever said it, it's true (sort of). The initial fear response is NOT necessarily a choice. It’s something that’s activated in our brain (specifically the amygdala) in response to a perceived threat. If that threat is imminent, then the fear response did its job. However, if the imminent threat passes and you’re still living in a constant state of fear, that my friends IS a choice.
The coronavirus is REAL. The impact it’s having on our healthcare system and our global economy, it’s all REAL.
Being afraid of it, as well as being afraid of running out of TP, hand sanitizer, and non-perishables, that’s a choice.
What’s the difference between a Doomsday Prepper and a toilet paper hoarder?
The Doomsday Prepper is so scared shitless that he doesn’t need any TP 😊 😊 😊 (that’s a Ryan Humphries original, so if you want to use it, gimme some credit).
All bad jokes aside, the difference between these two depends on whether they’re acting from a state of educated preparedness (EP) or acting out of fear. When we act from a state of EP we are acting logically, using sound judgment, and thinking about long-term consequences (This is a job for the pre-frontal cortex).
The connection between the amygdala and the pre-frontal cortex is crucial. In stressed individuals, that connection doesn’t work like it should... This could explain the lack of logical decisions being made in our supermarkets.
Laugh as much as you want at the Preppers, but often, they are acting more out of EP (not the ones in the underground bunkers, those folks are scared shitless 😉). However, it's the people sitting at home on Facebook, not fact-checking the “news” that they scroll across, then running to the store thinking the apocalypse is upon them, THOSE people are acting out of fear.
A global poll from 2019 showed us that Americans are among the most stressed out people in the world. And we're doing most of it to ourselves. Eating like shit, not exercising, not going outside in the sun, not getting enough sleep, not getting out into nature, blah, blah, blah). You’ve heard it all before. But now, we’re seeing the results of that stress. The results of a bad connection between an amygdala and pre-frontal cortex is not knowing what the f*ck to do when a pandemic sets in. Hoard the hand sanitizer! Wear 3 masks if you go outside! Buy all the shit!
If we could make changes in just a few of those areas, we’d not only be doing ourselves a favor, but humanity at large. We live on a tiny little rock floating through space and right now, we're under an attack. Here’s how each one of us can do our part:
Getty Images: https://www.insideedition.com/why-are-people-hoarding-toilet-paper-in-response-to-coronavirus-58631
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