Hoarding in times of crisis. How do you react?

I understand those hoarders! I've had to suppress that same tendency several times this week. Although I have not now piled 10 discount packs of toilet paper in the hallway, I also have more food at home than usual.

I get them hoarders! I've had to suppress that same tendency several times this week. Although I have not now piled 10 discount packs of toilet paper in the hallway, I also have more food at home than usual. To avoid having to go shopping every day, as usual, and because you never know how it will turn out when you get sick. So now I can go 3 days ahead instead of normally 1 or at most 2 days.

But where does that hoarding actually come from? Well, humans have three instinctive responses to danger, fear and stress: fight, flight, and freeze. These automatic responses are aimed at survival.

You cross and a car hits hard. You are shocked and before you know it your body reacts. You clench your fists and would like to fly at the motorist because he scares you so (fight), you quickly take three steps back up the sidewalk (flee) and or you stop like a deer looking in the headlights ( to freeze).

I think that now that you and the world around you are threatened by an invisible coronavirus, you basically do not react differently. Only the expression of the response may be different. Let's take a closer look at all three responses.

#1 - Fight

The fight response is about protecting yourself and the environment. It does not surprise me that you immediately start hoarding. You want to be able to continue to serve yourself and possibly your family with food every day. Amazing that facilitating bowel movements with toilet paper is also part of those basic necessities. Sounds like fodder for psychologists and sociologists!

Fighting also creates other interesting reactions. Namely protecting and caring for the environment. For example, by shopping for people in risk groups. Under the motto: we really will not let this virus make us feel small.

#2 - Flights

The flight response is also about protecting yourself. But you then figuratively withdraw under a stone to wait for the end of the danger. Here too hoarding is actually a pretty logical step, because after all you haven't fattened yourself up to survive a long hibernation. So make sure you always have plenty of food and drink at home, so you can survive without having to go outside. Hoarding!

Be careful
By crawling under a stone you can isolate yourself from the outside world and get bogged down in Netflix all day long, etc. That can in the worst case lead to depression. Therefore, make sure you keep in touch with the outside world and stay active and useful.

#3 - Freeze

In the current situation I would perhaps prefer to translate this reaction into ignore it. You want nothing more than to continue with your normal life, without taking corona into account. Examples of this are the invasion of Belgians who traveled to the Netherlands, because the catering industry was still open here and the overflowing hardware stores where people go shopping with their whole family.

Everyone would prefer that this virus never came into the world and that we could continue our normal life. But this is not the case. The virus is here and will not go away for the time being. Therefore, be aware of the risks you are taking for yourself and for others if you ignore all advice without thinking.

Don't let your primal instincts guide you!

Almost everyone has such a primary response and acts accordingly. And there is nothing wrong with that in the beginning. But after the primary response comes reflection. Then reason must regain the upper hand to make logical and meaningful decisions for the short and long term. After a week it is time to switch from the first survival mode to the way in which you can make the best within this new reality.

How about me?
I completely surprised myself by reacting differently than I thought. As if I were a terrified lizard, I decided from one moment to the next that it was safer under the rock in the world above. So I retired to the house, just didn't close the curtains and set up a Netfix series. As the first days passed, boredom and uselessness struck. Then I decided to flip the switch and stay active and useful. I still stay home most of the time because I think that's the best thing to do. But I make a schedule for each day with useful things. For example, I make a schedule for every day with useful things. A brisk walk is central to this. I write blogs again, have started spring cleaning and cook fresh and healthy every day. I also have all kinds of odd jobs around the house that I now have the time to do, such as that annoying stair gate that is yearning for a major overhaul. Nice to be useful again! And in addition, there is still enough time left to continue watching that series.

Finally: hoarding is not necessary,
you know that yourself

Fighting as well as fleeing can, in my opinion, be cause for hoarding. That's why it happens on such a large scale. But folks, you don't have to follow your primal instincts. Resist it and let reason correct it. We no longer live in that old society, where we ourselves had to stock up on a large amount of food, drink and other basic necessities before a harsh winter or in preparation for pests and diseases. The supermarket chains do that for us. They ensure that this stock is distributed throughout the Netherlands every day, as they did and will continue to do every day of the year. So just go shopping, then there is enough for everyone!

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