The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.
Everyone is angry, although we all are angry for different reasons. Over a year ago, the CDC asked people to wear masks. The reaction was largely accommodating, although there was a visceral reaction in a few people. They peddled lies and fear, arguing about a conspiracy, that COVID-19 was a myth, and a number of other things.
Videos went viral, showing angry people shouting at young people in the service industry for the mask policies. People have literally been dragged off airplanes because they argue their freedom is being taken away.
And I’m angry too. Over six hundred thousand people have died from COVID-19 in the US alone, and deaths continue to rise. Hospitals have been overrun at times, requiring wartime triage. Yet people suggest that it’s all made up.
The vaccines were miraculous, yet so many people don’t trust them. Despite urging from officials, there are too many who don’t want them. They claim falsehoods about the vaccine’s effectiveness and make up scientific evidence until they’re on their deathbeds.
There was an election. President Biden won with a significant margin of victory. Yet so many people seem to ignore this fact. They are angry that the election was stolen. Some were so angry they stormed the capitol in a failed coup attempt. Several police officers killed themselves due to the trauma. Yet some people suggest that the whole thing was innocent, that they were just loving people.
Regardless of where you fall in these issues, you’re probably angry. You’re angry that others cannot see what is so obvious. There is an objective truth. Why are they so stubborn and ignorant?
What does this do to a society, to a person, to be perpetually angry? We’ve been told to stay inside for so long, with just the Internet to keep us company and to corrupt us. Studies show that being heavily stressed reduces life expectancy, and is being angry any different?
The problem is that I can’t blame anyone else for being angry, nor try to not be angry myself. Anger is perfectly rational. These aren’t small, faraway problems either. My own home now is bringing back masks and adding vaccine mandates because COVID-19 is still with us. Everywhere you go, you’re inundated with emotionally charged sensory data. There’s no escape.
Perhaps it’s this lack of control that is the source of our anger. Requiring masks, or losing an election, makes you feel like there’s nothing you can do.
I’m not an expert in psychology. I don’t know how to stop being angry. I can talk to a friend, temporarily pushing these feelings out of my mind, but then I see one ignorant tweet and the rage returns. You might say that I should get off the Internet, that it’s toxic, but maybe that itself is the source of our anger. We cannot return to real life. So many of our interactions now have to be online, so we keep returning back to the anger.