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What Stage are you In?

What Stage are you In?

To state that the last few months have been unusual would be a severe understatement.   The world has never, as a whole, experienced the challenges caused by the pandemic.

I have noticed that people are in different stages and tend to move from one to another.   Here are some of the categories that you might find your loved ones or yourself in:

  1. Fear – When we first heard about the pandemic and the catastrophic consequences that it could bring, everyone was fearful! Part of the problem was the “unknown”.   We didn’t know if or how it would affect us at a personal level and what toll it might take.  There is still an element of fear associated with the situation we find ourselves in.
  2. Confusion – Many inconsistencies over time left us wondering what to believe. Scientists and doctors disagreed about the severity and even the best methods to stop the spread.  We heard stories and statistics that just didn’t seem to make sense.   Even the various politicians who introduced and changed mandates disagreed with each other and made us wonder.  There are still confusing elements that just don’t seem to make sense.
  3. Anger – The longer the problems have gone on, the more some people seem to have become angry. This has occurred not only at the personal level, with arguments between friends, family members and communities but also at a macro-level as we see a growing number of protests with more and more people who claim that restrictions are stealing their freedom.
  4. Disappointment – Lockdowns have seriously hit many businesses and families in the pocketbook. We have seen many organizations and employers who could not maintain their operations.   Some have tried to re-establish themselves more than once without adequate staffing or guarantees that another downturn won’t occur.  A new phenomenon is that they are now faced with policing clientele based on whether they have received the jabs.
  5. Disrespect – Differing opinions can lead to conflict and disrespect. Unfortunately, not all opinions are honoured and those who have made errors or chosen to do things in a different way can feel isolated or rejected by others who don’t agree.  This has occurred at all levels of society and divided people rather than drawing them together.
  6. Sadness – Lockdowns have left many people isolated and lonely. Tragedy escalated for   involved those who were left in hospitals or nursing homes to die without support of family and the family members who were helpless.   Others have been denied fellowship because of their politics, beliefs or choices.
  7. Worry– When we find ourselves repeatedly asking “What if….” we know that anxiety has set in. It might be based on rational or irrational thoughts.  Unfortunately, worry doesn’t solve anything but instead can steal our sleep, peace and confidence.
  8. Compliance – Some people never think for themselves or research for options. They just accept and do everything that is recommended.   This can be very difficult when there are so many differing recommendations coming from a multitude of sources.
  9. Naivety – No matter what is happening, there are always people who act innocent or like they are unaffected. They don’t gather information, prepare or even make decisions.
  10. Hope – Often those who have lived through trouble in the past, remember that they got through it and trust that this will be the case with the pandemic.

I have only listed a few of the stages that you might have experienced or are in right now.   The interesting thing is that you might be in more than one at a time.  For example, you might be disappointed that the pandemic isn’t over but, at the same time have hope that it will end.  You might be confused about what to do and compliant at the same time.  Maybe you are sad about losing your career or business and also determined to use your anger to protest against restrictions that you feel are threatening to your future freedom.

One stage that I haven’t already mentioned which is of utmost importance involves focusing on each day with contentment and thanks.   Remember to always think about the positive things in your life.   It is easy to be distracted by all the noise and chaos surrounding us, but true peace comes from knowing that each of us has blessings if we just look for them.

And for those of us who are believers, it is so comforting to know that there is something bigger than all of us who knows the beginning and the end.
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About the Author

Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years...