The Homefront: How Americans Cope with Coronavirus
"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." — Walt Whitman, perhaps speaking for America
America's previous "Oh My Gosh This Is Going to Change Everything!" crisis was on 9/11/2001. The immediate, on-the-ground response in New York City and at the Pentagon was one of heroics. In the air, the civilian passengers of Flight 93 organized themselves to conduct a spoiling attack on their own hijackers, the very first counteraction in what would quickly come to be known as the War on Terror. There was real confusion as every single passenger aircraft was grounded across the country. There was the appearance of confusion as the Bush administration tried to find a secure place to keep President Bush. It looked for a while as though 9/11 was only the start of a campaign by foreign terrorists on American soil, and with a quiet determination, we prepared ourselves for a long, hard slog.
Considering how badly we got caught with our pants down that September morning, there was precious little panic. Maybe the shock and suddenness of it induced a quieter, almost inverse reaction.