Human behavior is an oddity in the best of times.
When crises hit, whether on a personal, local, national or international level, it becomes something else altogether. As all of us find our own way to adjust, we see the entire spectrum of behaviors. Some withdraw, some volunteer, some complain, some blame, some follow guidelines, some jump in and help friends and neighbors, some rebel and decide to do anything opposite of the norm, whether it makes sense or, some are conformists, some contrarians. We are an odd lot.
I realize as the calendar continues to march along, I’m finding some oddities to my own behavior. Unless my memory is faulty – we all know our memories are faulty in times gone by I would’ve let my OCD side kick in and begin organizing, sorting, rearranging and otherwise trying to straighten anything and everything out to within an inch of its life. A while back, I realized I had begun to slowly embrace procrastination, something I used to put up the metaphorical “X” sign to ward off.
I also found my anxiety level manifests itself differently. I remember what a psychologist friend-employer once said; people don’t commit suicide over nuclear war; they do over a hangnail. As I’ve observed human behavior over the years, mine as well as others’, that phrase seems more prescient today.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to continue my day job. Other things are off, uncomfortable and worrisome. I’m worried about friends and family who are not working now through no fault of their own. I’m worried about my 401(k) since I’m of the age to be thinking about the purpose of those funds. I also find I’m not doing what I would have done a few short years ago. I haven’t gone through my cupboard or freezer to assess and organize, though I did find out my freezer may be fading.
Finding this out also led to the discovery of what strange things people are now buying due to panic mode kicking in – freezers. I can’t replace mine until maybe June or July. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I haven’t done any panic buying or hoarding.
One of the many irritating habits I inherited from my parents means I already had a supply of toilet paper which has been an unending source of teasing by my family members, until now. I have procrastinated balancing my checkbook, which normally would make me apoplectic. I haven’t cleaned my garage of the winter gathering of dirt and debris, which would have been done by now. I finally vacuumed the dog hair out of the car. Even willful blindness has limits.
My thought on behavior also makes me remember some history and what leaders did and did not do in critical times gone by, and yearn for the likes of Howard Baker, Everett Dirksen, Mike Mansfield, Sam Nunn and Barry Goldwater.
In 2020, instead of immediately gearing up to manufacture tests and equipment on a national scale to battle an unseen virus gripping the globe, we’re dealing with one person’s ego and unnatural need for adoration.
Humans, we are an odd lot.