There is no stronger trigger to anxiety than the unknown. And we are currently going through a challenging time heading toward the unknown. This terrifies us. Confusion, isolation, and agitation are some of the threats to the American state of mind due to the repercussions from COVID-19. Experts believe the situation is close to a social epidemic. The only way to stay afloat in these turbulent waters is through a support network, to build an immune system against anxiety through human connection.
There are so many unpredictable and uncontrollable elements in reality, which themselves depend on myriad hidden causes, that we have lost trust in multiple aspects of our society. This makes people apprehensive.
Fifty years ago, we were not so fearful about the future. We thought we would progress and things would get better. Now we do not know what tomorrow will bring and if things improve for our children. It is no longer a speculation; we see that the world is declining. We are already facing a very real fear of approaching hardships.
A person naturally wants to know the probabilities for the future; otherwise he would not be certain about how to act in the present. In the past, most people could largely expect what would be the course of their lives. Life was simple, close to the earth, guided by the seasons and close to nature.
Over the years, we moved away from the perception of nature as the root of life, as the supreme system in which we exist. We distanced ourselves from each other, glorified individual achievements, and encouraged heartless competition between us to the point that the growing egoism caused us to feel that others and nature were created only to serve us.
We do not know what will happen next. We do not understand what is affecting us or how to respond correctly. Far from nature and disintegrated as a society, we have declined into perpetual uncertainty.
Slowly, we are getting used to the shocks that impact the world, while we still wonder what force acts in reality and brings all these events upon us. It takes the element of uncertainty for us to try to find the source of everything around us and to realize that it is nature. It is the same force that is compelling us to become similar to it, interdependent and synergic.
Through tremendous pains and troubles we are gradually coming to terms with the importance of building a fortress of strong and meaningful human relations. As we internalize this premise and begin to work on our connections, we bring about warmth and affection, supportive thoughts, and concern for others. These actions will foster our confidence in the future and navigate us safely through our current state of uncertainty.
The future society must be one where people live in order to attain connection among them because in the connection, they will discover joy and wholeness.
People are social beings. We are so dependent upon society that it should be our safe haven when we feel scarcity and fear. We need to create an environment that provides a sense of confidence, of mutual guarantee. This is all it takes to heal the social epidemic.
[Reuters image: Some wearing face masks in the time of COVID-19, people line up along the median strip along 42nd Street and Second Avenue waiting for the sunset phenomenon known as “Manhattanhenge”, which was not viewable from that location for a second night in a row due to lingering storm clouds on the horizon, New York, NY, July 12, 2020. Manhattanhenge is the event during which the setting (or rising) sun aligns perfectly with east-west streets of the Manhattan island street grid, which occurs twice a year. (Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)]