So, here we are: it’s the beginning of June 2021, and after 15 months of lockdowns, mandates, business closures, canceled celebrations, suicides, and isolation, it’s all finally coming to an end. So where’s the joy?
Think about it: for an entire generation either born after, or too young to really feel that visceral shock of 9/11, this is the biggest threat to their selfihood that they have ever had to face.
In all of the pandemics in human history, mortality and fear went hand in hand. The more likely you were to die, the more afraid you were. It was a direct correlation. This time, however, the less likely you were to die the more afraid you became. It’s an inverse correlation. Pandemics have been with us forever, but this is new. This isn’t about the virus. This is about the host.
That means we need to get into the Biology of Fear.
Now to paraphrase George Washington, fear is a handy servant but a dangerous master. As a servant, fear has kept us alive, both as individuals and as a species.
But like some 19th century English duchess making a passage to Africa, fear comes with baggage. A lot of baggage. Trunks and trunks and trunks of it in some cases, and an entire army of servants to carry it, too: all of it being hauled through the jungle on safari and virtually none of it needed or even useful. Too much fear is simply extra baggage.
Not everyone is burdened by excessive fear. Most of us pack a couple of bags; some of us are lucky to have just enough fear to fit into the overhead compartments and a precious few of us can carry all of their fear in a shaving kit. And fear is like baggage in another way, as well: The more traveling you do, the less you pack…
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