The lockdown and quarantine life of Covid-19 will most likely be a quick antidote to what we call ‘Fear of Missing Out’ (FOMO).
FOMO is an anxiety that someone feels when they are not in the loop. It is the fear that something great is happening out there without you or having the urge of constantly checking the news or social media to know what is happening.
One of my favourite authors, Mark Manson recently coined the term ‘Fear of Going Out’ (FOGO). This was in response to the quarantine life and might be a new anxiety soon.
He argues that our cultural obsession with FOMO will be temporarily replaced by FOGO. People with FOGO will live with constant anxiety that they’re guaranteed to miss out something horrifying by staying indoors.
For example, one might start to think that is that concert worth it? Should I stay or go to that party? Should I go to that event or vacation?
Mandy Wiener, a crime reporter and award-winning journalist in South Africa concurs with Manson’s analysis. She is of the view that the world is no longer the place it was BC – Before Coronavirus. It’s a new terrain that fills us with new anxiety and trepidation. This is a kind of Stockholm Syndrome.
Wiener explains that Stockholm Syndrome is a condition first used by the media in 1973, when four hostages were held during a bank robbery in Stockholm in Sweden. The four hostages defended their captors after being released and would not testify in court against them. They had formed a psychological alliance with them.
She further states that, most of us have developed an emotional bond with our captor which in this case is the virus.
Getting our economy going again and getting people back to work is of paramount importance. We need to get our economic engine running. The steps to get there are being rolled out in Levels, with an eye toward caution on each Level.
That being said; how can we overcome this genuine fear of going out from a health, social and economic perspective? I really don’t know for certain but; what I currently know is that we cannot stay indoors forever. We must learn and mitigate the risks of going out post-lockdown life and make responsible decisions for ourselves. This is where scientists, doctors and psychologists will play a big role in helping us to navigate this new territory.