Coronavirus and the age of anxiety

CNN Poll: Most Americans would be uncomfortable returning to regular routines today

When you read the fine print here, though, you’ll immediately see the contradiction:

“Most Americans say they would be uncomfortable returning to their regular routines today, even as they are increasingly leaving their homes to visit others, according to a new CNN Poll.”

This is contradictory. And at the same time, it’s no real surprise.

Most Americans recognize, at some level, that the total shutdown of our economy is unsustainable. 

But the economy isn’t the only aspect of all this that is unsustainable. Are we ever going to see our friends and relatives outside our household again?

Are Americans still going to go on dates? Or will people start marrying their siblings now, in order to enforce quarantine?

At the same time, though: you can’t turn on the television, go on the Internet, or listen to the radio without hearing the word “coronavirus”.

No wonder Americans are also a little nervous. 

This is called ambiguity—the vast gray area of human existence—and it’s a part of life in the real world. 

Sometimes we have to balance competing interests.

Here the competing interests are:

a) We can’t stay locked in our houses forever, and

b.) Coronavirus is a real thing, and we have to take some reasonable precautions. 

Ergo, most of us are a little nervous. How could we not be, after the last 3 months?

Most of us are also busting to restart our lives.

And once again: How could we not be, after the last 3 months?