The current viral hysteria provides a fascinating example of variance of human coping mechanisms. Not all humans respond similarly to the same threat and disruption to daily life. It is comical to watch the disparity in reaction between the three very different types of personalities. Without further ado, here they are:
The WHAT-ME-WORRY -This Alfred E. Neuman of the pandemic is generally distrustful of the government and all its prognostications and warnings, except for perhaps weather reports. He has generally learned that things are never nearly as bad as “experts” predict. He has a fatalistic attitude about life. Running around scared and disrupting his daily routine, to decrease the chance of catching a virus that probably will not be fatal anyway, is just not worth the trouble. He reacts with amusement at others wearing masks and gloves just to open their mailboxes.
The FRAIDY CAT– This is the WHAT-ME-WORRIES’ polar opposite. Their adherence to government dictates resembles Orthodox Jewish devotion to obeying strictures of the Talmud. In fact, their extreme fear often leads them to EXTRAPOLATE government recommendations! If a mask is recommended in public, these characters reason that to be perfectly safe, it might be better to wear a mask covered with a scarf absolutely all the time! FRAIDY CATS will shake their heads when they observe neighbors not as careful as themselves. They reproach WHAT-ME-WORRIES with missionary zeal, preaching the gospel of social distancing to prevent infection and loss of life.
The WOULD-BE DICTATOR comes in two flavors. The first is a FRAIDY CAT who grows angrier as his advice is spurned. First, he will prod gently, supplying link after link to CDC warnings. At some point, he thinks, “Damn it, because those fools won’t heed our advice to save them from the virus, we must FORCE them to protect themselves. Those WHAT-ME-WORRIES want to ignore our heartfelt advice? We will show them a thing or two!”
The second WOULD-BE-DICTATOR variety is just an average bully who likes to boss people around. Perhaps picked on when he was younger, he relishes his new power to bring people into line with his thinking. So some serfs think they can exercise their freedom of religion against his wishes? Why, he will throw them into jail and show them who is boss. Finally freed of those silly constitutional protections, he can govern people FOR THEIR OWN GOOD!
Which type of COVID-19 personality are you?
Dr. Kim Henry