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25 Mar 2020

NBlog March 25 - coping with the COVID crisis

I bumped into an insightful piece by Jeff Immelt 'Lead through a crisis' yesterday. This paragraph really caught my eye: 
I agree there are material differences between us in how we react under pressure, differences that are exaggerated during a crisis. The same applies to social groups and families as well as work teams: some of us are (or at least give the appearance of being) fully on top of things, some are 'coping', some are struggling, and some are in turmoil, overwhelmed by it all.

The current situation reminds me of the K├╝bler-Ross grieving curve. Here's a version I've used to help explain our emotional responses to traumatic events such as information security incidents and changes:

In any group of people, there will be individual differences e.g. in the rate at which we go through the process, the depth of the 'pit of despair', and the symptoms we show of our inner turmoil. Also, the curve is figurative, not literal, so the shape and details are likely to vary (e.g. multiple peaks and troughs). However, as a general guide, it helps make sense of what's going on within and around us right now.

For me personally, the turning point came over a week ago when I read about the effectiveness of antiviral drugs: all of a sudden, my light went on. There is hope! Whether the drugs really are that effective is uncertain but my mood definitely turned positive and forward-thinking. We got on with stuff such as stocking up on essentials well before the NZ government announced the country-wide lock-down (from midnight tonight). At the same time, I appreciate that others are at different stages with many struggling to come to terms with it and function effectively plus, no doubt, some still in denial. Globally, that dark pit seems apposite.

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