We are currently in a second pandemic. Triggered by the first. No, I do not mean the second wave of COVID-19 infections – particularly in the young and unvaccinated. I mean a different pandemic altogether. It’s the pandemic of outrage.
Every aspect of life right now is causing outrage for some group or another. People have lost their sense of understanding things happen, and that much of the world is out of our control. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to advocate for what we want, but self-righteous indignation when things are not done on our timing or terms is shocking in its conceit.
Outrage is an intensified form of anger. And anger is a fight-or-flight response to a threat, perceived in the form of an emotion. As mortality creeps closer with COVID-19, as our existences and daily lives feel threatened by the chaos we cannot control around us, we go on heightened alert. This state of existential terror morphs itself into anger, our “emotion” of fight-or-flight, and we arm ourselves with outrage to do battle with the world. The bigger the perceived threat, the more the anger, hence outrage – the ultimate weapon of indignation that our egos are being challenged.
They only cure for outrage is humility. It is acceptance that we too will die, we too are not as important as we think. We have been so conceited to think that our not catching illness is due to our superiority and worthiness. But the spread of infectious illness is not about being bad or good; it’s more mundane than that. It’s about our evolution as a species, through exposure, environment, genetics, and luck thrown in. We need to stop being so outraged at everybody and everything. At the end of it all, whether conscious or not, we are as mortal as the very ants we step on unwittingly every day.