The collective experience today is the trauma called COVID-19. The thought of dying or of not living as we once did is affecting all of us. Thoughts range from extremely heightened fear to of little concern. The mind does not like fear at any level or any kind of trauma, because it forces the mind and the body’s systems, like the nervous system, to function differently and out of balance. That’s partly why you see people freaking-out at others, as fear is one of the greatest motivators of behavior.
The truth is that we are all programmed to handle trauma differently. We are also programmed from an early age to accept what authority figures tell us as the truth. Walter Cronkite, known as the most trusted person in news, closed his CBS news broadcast each night with: “And that’s the way it is.” He could have as easily said, “Believe me, I’m Walter Cronkite,” and most would have.
What’s the probability that today’s COVID authority figures don’t have our best interests in mind. It can’t be zero, as there is always some probability that the opposite of what we believe can be true. Afterall, the Sun used to rotate around the Earth, until Copernicus. What if the authority figures are so self-serving that they could care less about our health. What if they have done some bad things and are forced to take the position they do to maintain their own safety and standing. What if they are actually contributing to making the situation worse. Can we agree that this is a possibility?
University professors Richard Cloward and Frances Piven wrote extensively in the 1960’s about how a crisis can be manufactured and used for political and social change, financial reward, and/or expanding control over people’s lives. We’d be naïve to believe that this does not happen every day across the globe. What kind of trauma will it be if we actually find out we are being duped and used? Some believe that this is the case today. For others, such a reality is not possible. Maybe we should pray for each other, as we are all experiencing the COVID trauma.