How are people reacting and responding to the crisis?

Everyone has a different way to respond to a crisis. Understanding each others’s responses and reactions helps us come together as a community during the crisis. Sharing what I have seen, learned and understood about people’s reactions over the past few weeks!

This is a picture of a typical life cycle of change – What happens when we face a change, what all emotions does one go through and how do we react? Typically, anyone going through a life changing event, goes through these emotions. With the current scenario, not only individuals, but organizations and countries are going through this.

Now, let us see how we see that happening in and around us today

Phase of ChangeTheir thoughtsTheir reactions
ShockWhat is happening? How can this happen? Media is making a big fuss about nothing
Say others are spreading false news and creating paranoia
DisbeliefWhy is it changing my way of life?I do not care
My life – my way or highway
Not following social distancing protocols
My optimism that nothing is happening can push away the reality
Awareness / FrustrationShould I really take it seriously?
This is impacting my freedom – I feel bound
Feeling helpless
How do I differentiate between the jokes and reality?
How many things must have gone wrong for this to happen?
Who all can be blamed for this?
Who has not woken up to this yet? How can they be so ignorant?
Whom can I trust? What sources are trustable?
Share the information with people in my circle to spread awareness
Not knowing what to do and how one can help
Acceptance / DepressionLife is changing.
Everyone around me is going through the same thing
It is no longer a choice to change and adapt
How do we make the best of what we have?
How can I/we help those in need?
Who are in my circle of responsibility? How do I protect them?
What supplies do I need?
Whom can I lean on for support – family, friends, community, colleagues etc
How do I establish a communication channel in my circle to share information and collaborate through the crisis
Look around for leaders / role-models to follow / emulate and support
Look around for opportunities where our skills & capabilities might come in handy
Reskill ourselves as necessary
ExperimentationHow can we adapt with restricted flexibility?
What can we do/use instead?
What all can we do to help?
Form groups and divide responsibilities in your circle of influence
Revise operating structures to keep it simple and effective, maximizing productivity
Reset a new operating procedure at home, giving everyone flexibility to go through their day to day activities/work
Support those who need help in your circle of influence
See an opportunity to help and share with your circle of influence and trigger a change
Searching / Problem solvingStart connecting the dots on why and what happened
Figure out ways to adapt and get through
Feeling more positive
Using new skills and thought process to figure a way out
Revisit leaders in your new space who can be trusted and followed/supported
Forming new groups and structures, to brainstorm / problem solve / research and find new ways for a breakthrough
Analysis Paralysis of what happened and why, what can be done to prevent it
Central point of control revisited, new protocols established
Spreading hope in a variety of ways with your circle of influence
IntegrationWhat we learned during the process?
Revised normal has some positives
How can we better prepared if something like this happened again?
New friends, new circles, new norm
Getting comfortable with the new operating norms
Something BIG has changed our underlying mindset, reality has changed, but we are all in it together and will get through

People in our social circles will be all over the spectrum – ranging from those in disbelief to those who have moved past and focusing on problem solving and working towards integrated approach. Understanding where one is – based on their reactions helps to appreciate their point of view and let them deal with the change in their own way, speed.

Every entity listed here is impacted, and is processing the change in their own way

Every individual, family, organization, city, state, country and the world leaders are going through this change. Every one will have ideas about how to help or solve this crisis, in their own way with their own skills. While we listen and align with world leaders during the awareness phase, call to action and adherence to protocols comes from a community/state level based on the extent of impact. All of these groups (by size of impact) will align at some point of time – to brainstorm collectively and translate those as policies or guidelines that impact everyone below them in the value chain.

We can expect a lot of change in the upcoming months, around groceries and delivery protocols, social distancing protocols, medical care, quarantine methods, at home-care, prevention, equipment, resources, workplace models, cross-country alliances and partnerships, technology & innovation, gadgets etc. It would be a LOT of information to process for everyone.

If you see people trying to :

  1. Garden and share pictures: Understand that they are trying to maintain their sanity and focusing on something that are skilled at, or learning a new skill within the realms of their home, creating a scope of control for themselves
  2. Sharing food recipes: Understand that they are trying to inspire others by sharing what they know to help another individual during the process.
  3. Share pictures of nature walks/trails: Understand the phase of change they are in.. and be supportive when they change
  4. Making face masks: Understand that they might be stay at home moms, IT professionals, grand parents, students who all have figured out and brushed up their skills to find a relevant way to help from their end
  5. Making PPE Equipment: Understand that they have figured out a way to use their engineering skills in a different light to make something relevant and useful in a quick manner during the crisis
  6. Ask you to make a will & take life insurance: Understand that they might have experienced a life changing event in the past and sharing their experience to advice you. They might not be trying to scare you 🙂
  7. Ask you if you need any help: They are trying to be kind and compassionate to people in their circle/community. Reaching out to help another person is a nice thing!
  8. Share advise based on military protocols: Understand that they have experienced being in a lock-down or similar situations, all by themselves, with minimal food and supplies and had to retain their sanity and survive for weeks. So, they would share inputs on how to retain your sanity, remain active, remain positive and ensure you sustain your Hope.
  9. Blame the government or political parties: Understand that they might not have started it during the crisis, and it might not end after the crisis.
  10. Vent out their frustration online: Understand that they might be working overtime (whatever they might be doing) and are mentally and emotionally tired of not being able to figure out way to operate. Listen them out if you can – you will help them have a breakthrough!

What do I see in my circles?

  1. People trying to video chat from multiple walks of life – Thanks to Zoom
  2. Prayer groups on whatsapp, Telegram, Youtube across religions
  3. Sermons and messages from religious leaders and friends across various cultures
  4. Students teleschooling experiences
  5. Teenagers and their realizations during the crisis
  6. Organizations and their operating model changes
  7. People frustrations
  8. States seeking additional help from medical professionals and research professionals
  9. States opening up job portals
  10. Small business communities figuring out a way to be relevant and survive
  11. Hundreds of grand parents, children, parents with kids having disabilities coming together to make face masks & equipment for medical professionals
  12. IT professionals making charts, apps & sites for coronavirus tracking
  13. Engineers put their minds together to make PPE equipment – designs have been published
  14. Elementary kids learning on video calls
  15. People connecting back with good old school friends and teachers
  16. People trying to learn a new skill
  17. People trying to work through loans and mortgage
  18. People looking for home remedies for simple ailments
  19. People sharing stories about how they got the virus, survived and got back on their feet
  20. People coming together trying to care for the poverty-stricken communities
  21. People trying to define their scope of control, where they can lead and influence
  22. and many more

Have started seeing a trait of “Togetherness” and a revised sense of belonging during this period. Tomorrow, life will be different.. but today we have it in our power at our level to trigger a change! And that has become the common denominator of those around us 🙂 A very positive way to change!

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