Free-Range Kids

There's Light—and Growth—at the Other End of the Coronavirus Tunnel

"We are far more resilient than we give each other credit for."


Here's something you might not have heard of: post-traumatic growth. I promise I didn't invent it just to cheer anybody up. But I hope it does cheer you up, because it's real.

"We are far more resilient than we give each other credit for," says Dr. Samantha Boardman, founder of and assistant attending psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. And the research proves it.

Beginning in the 1990s some psychologists finally started turning their focus away from dysfunction to study its good-twin opposite: how people cope. By some estimates, at least half the population has gone through some kind of real trauma. (And let's assume, by September or so, that could be a lot more of us.) And yet, writes John Tierney, co-author of the new book The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It, four out of five trauma victims did not suffer from PTSD.

"In the long run, they typically emerged stronger," says Tierney. "Instead of being permanently scarred they underwent post-traumatic growth."

The reason most of us haven't heard of this positive turn of events, according to Tierney, is because good news never gets the kind of attention bad news gets. That's a big theme in his book: Twitter, cable TV, and even the human brain love bad news and ignore most of the good.

This doesn't mean trauma is some fabulous thing you should seek out, like probiotic Greek yogurt, because it's so healthy. Trauma can be, well, traumatizing. But psychologists have seen people coming out the other end with an "increased appreciation of life, deeper relationships with others, new perspectives and priorities, [and] greater personal strength," says Tierney.

Even in the meantime, while we're still in the midst of this miserable thing, I've been hearing from parents who are kind of stunned to see their kids not only coping, but almost unfolding like a tender green shoot, watered by the unexpected gift of the virus: free time.

"My daughter is almost 12 and my son is 9, and they've been off school since March 12," a mom in Canada tells me. "I was expecting a lot of bickering and crabbiness and there's been a little bit, but not nearly as much as I expected." Instead, her son spontaneously took a kite out to fly the other day—for the first time in his life. His sister, who normally goes to bed at 11 p.m. and has to get up at 7 a.m., is still going to bed at 11 p.m., but now getting up at 11 a.m. That probably means the girl needed more sleep than she was getting before, and that the extra rest is doing everybody some good.

Meagan Heryet, a fundraiser in Oregon City, Oregon, has an 8-year-old daughter who is normally, Megan says, "a disaster."

"She's a hoarder, she's an artist, there's trash everywhere, there's no laundry basket," says Megan. "But since we've been home—no prodding from me—she just decided it was important for her bedroom to stay clean." The girl is making the bed every day.

In suburban Virginia, Stephanie Gillespie's son, age 14 and normally not too keen on school projects, "all of a sudden decided that there's all these things he wants to pursue," Gillespie tells me. Top of the list? Building a computer.

Dark are these days but there is light at the end of the tunnel—and some pretty cool light shows inside the tunnel, too.

NEXT: Trump to States With COVID-19 Supply Shortages: Better Luck Next Time

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  1. We have been told we are all in grave danger, probably forever, as there is no end in sight to this “crisis”.

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  2. Of course the disease is not that bad as the seasonal Flu/Cold kills more people.

    Its the tyrannical state governments, treasonous MSM, and hysterical Americans that are the problem.

    1. Only the state governments?

      They didn’t rob $2.3T out of thin air. They didn’t take over production at GM or 3M.

      It seems there is a lot of tyranny to go around.

      1. So Congress passing budget busting spending is theft now?

        Not to Libertarians it is not. It’s ridiculous and will destroy America’s financial well being but spending $2.3T is not theft, in an of itself.

        1. Taxation is theft. All spending becomes taxation eventually, either directly or through inflationary pressure.

          So yes.

          1. Taxation is not theft.

            I pay my taxes voluntarily. Otherwise I would not pay taxes. Or I would not live in the USA.

            So funny when non-Libertarians say that taxation is theft.

            1. So funny when a self-proclaimed fake libertarian claims he pays taxes voluntarily.

            2. “Taxation is not theft.”


        2. Whether or not it’s theft, it’s tyrannical and unconstitutional in how it was passed.

          1. How? It was passed by Congress in a veto-proof bill.

            Once again, just because you don’t like something doesnt make is unconstitutional.

            Personally, I think it was a ridiculous waste of money and will do almost nothing to fix anything. This hysteria will die down one way or another and the underlying strong economy will ride again….

            or the USA will devolve into Civil War 2.0

            The half-ass Martial Law decrees are not a good sign for America avoiding being Lit AF.

      2. You need to provide citations that the federal government actually took over GM and 3M.

        The media is a bunch of liars and there is no way US army troops are going to stand over GM workers to force them to build masks. It was a deal to get up front federal capital under the DPA.

        1. You yourself said the DPA is unconstitutional. That should really be the end of the conversation.

          Even if it is used more as a “get in line Comrade” sort of bullying without actual force, it is in fact fascist. The threat of force is all government needs to bend knees in this country.

          1. The DPA is unconstitutional. There is no enumerated power to force companies to build something.

            That does not change the fact that your claim is ridiculous and unsupported. GM and 3M are not being forced to build masks.

            I await an indepth article by unreason or any Propaganda outlet where GM and 3M Executives are saying that they are being forced to force their employees to make masks. Oh yeah, unreason does not do that. They spout unsupported Propaganda.

            1. It’s like these Governor decrees to stay home or face arrest. There is no state Constitutional or federal power that allows states to have this power. So fuck the state Governors. I would never follow those illegal laws. Just like I dont follow illegal laws about guns, drugs, and prostitution.

              1. But the point is that you decry Governors for implementing “illegal” laws. You called their governments “tyrannical” in this very thread.

                Yet you acknowledge the DPA as being “illegal” but won’t decry Trump for invoking it. And of course you’ll never acknowledge or even understand your own hypocrisy.

                You’ll continue to prop up Trump as the most libertarian president ever, in the face of his signing bills leading to what is sure to be the biggest government ever in terms of spending, invoking the DPA to strong-arm companies to his whims, etc.

                1. Its a voluntary deal between GM, 3M, and the federal government.

                  They are calling it a DPA order but its not. Trump should do it anyways because its a publicity stunt.

                  Trump is still and will forever be the best President in US History.

                  Nobody is falling for the propaganda man. MSM traitors created this hysteria and they will reap what they sowed.

                  1. Trump is still and will forever be the best President in US History.

                    “Why do people accuse me of sucking Trump’s dick? I just don’t get it!”

                    1. Poor unreason staff. Always chortling Hillarys balls.

                  2. And you voluntarily pay taxes because the alternative is you’d have to voluntarily go to jail and/or pay fines.

                    1. Regardless of whether l1789 chooses to hand over the loot before the thief pulls the gun, claiming his cowardice as proof the rest of us are not getting robbed is a pile of bullshit higher than Tony can stack it.

                    2. We all know unreason staff are pussies but geesh.

                      I mean how can you stand up for free markets and free minds if you wont protect your loot?

                      I voluntarily pay taxes because I feel that I get value for my low tax rate.

                  3. Yeah, dude. Everything has a single simple cause. God, you’re a fucking idiot.

                  4. poor unreason sock trolls.

                    Cite how the federal government is FORCING 3M and GM to build masks. A ridiculous unconstitutional DPA law is not force. You just ignore those illegal laws.

                    You can’t, which is why unreason sends in sock troll because I blew the wheels off your runaway Narrative of lies.

                    1. And you voluntarily pay taxes.

    2. Yes, during the seasonal flu, New York needs even more refrigerated trucks to store the bodies than they do now!

      1. He hasn’t got the updated talking points that Trump is using now. He hasn’t graduated from this being just a hoax to the point that government needs to start taking over private companies. Give it time.

        1. Poor Leo wont provide citations because, as usual, he’s full of Shite.

          1. How am I supposed to cite that you’re using talking points? Your programming isn’t working as intended.

            It’s my opinion. Feel free to prove it wrong.

            1. You are supposed to cite to your own comments, like Hihn.

          2. Oh, here unreason sock trolls go. They cannot possibly figure out how to cite their ridiculous comments.

            HAHA. This is hilarious! I know that I get unreason hack writers all upset daily but they must be foaming at the mouth.

            1. Shut the fuck up, you obstinent, willful moron. We get it, you have no shame about looking like a complete idiot. But you are littering the comments section with your incessant stupidity, annoying the fuck out of everyone. Go read a book or learn a new skill. We get it, now that your ass-backwards state of Georgia has finally joined the rest of the country in common sense and issued a stay-at-home order, you are stuck at home even more than usual. Go clean your bedroom or something. Jfc.

              1. Lol
                Eunuch mad!

            2. Poor unreason goobers.

              Your site sucks because we all know you people are running sock trolls to boost web traffic. That none of you are Libertarians and in fact hate Libertarianism.

              1. Poor unreason staffers are scared to go out and do things so they think the rest of us act that scared.

                I got a corona party scheduled for tonight!

                See if we can get even more people than my St Patty’s Day party. Already got over 25 people calling to say that they will be here.

                I got rides on my APCs around the property and live flamethrower show at 2100. I have Pelosi, Newsom, Cuomo, Sanders, and Hillary effigies to burn up.

              2. Yeah, that’s why this site sucks.

                1. One of the many reasons.

                  Ask the Glibs, they might have some input.

          3. When did you last provide citations to the gobsmacking drivel you post?

            Like voluntarily paying taxes. Or that GM is voluntarily building stuff the government wants.

          4. Poor alphabet troll.

      2. Maybe if Cuomo would allow the morgues to clear out those who have died so they can be buried, there would be room. But we can’t take that into account, now, can we?

        1. No, no, no – Trump invoked the DPA, to unknown effect, and that’s all that matters.
          Leo appears totally fine with state governors forcibly shutting down businesses and imposing house arrests, and DeBlasio threatening to permanently close religious houses of worship, backed up by the prospect of jail.
          Orange man bad uber alles

          1. +10000

            I got unreason staffers by the soy balls and they know it. They send in the sock trolls with hysterical numbers of 600 Americans died per second or some stupid shit.

            Only 6,586 people have died in the USA from Wuhanvirus since 1/21/2020, according to JHU Sick Map. If you figure ~10 weeks that comes to 94 deaths per day all around the USA.

            JESUS CHRIST 94 people died in the USA per day from a cough due to cold !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1. Four days into April and more people in the USA have died from this thing than died from it in the entirety of March.

              But keep telling yourself it’s not dangerous.

          2. Leo appears totally fine with state governors forcibly shutting down businesses and imposing house arrests, and DeBlasio threatening to permanently close religious houses of worship, backed up by the prospect of jail.
            Where the hell did you get that from?

            Here’s why this site sucks now. Half of the fucking comments are just “gotcha” bullshit on other commenters or writers (and I’m not claiming to be totally innocent). Surely there is something interesting you could say instead? Maybe actually have a debate with someone who disagrees with you instead of just being a dick. That used to happen here when this site didn’t suck.

            1. Did I offend your delicate fucking sympathies, zeb?
              Too bad.
              “Muh reason leftist circle jerk is gone!”
              Leo is a shallow thinker who has been obsessed with one point to the exclusion of all others and won’t stop bitching about it no matter the context.
              Eunuch has been an utterly contemptible commentator the whole 2.5 years I’ve been coming here, and has nothing of value to say.
              Reason is a leftist rag that pimps racialism, global warming hysteria, crony corporatism, and basically cosigns the leftist worldview.
              And the only comments I ever see from you, zeb, are whining that someone points these things out.

      3. Citations needed you hysterical fools.

        Lets see how many deaths NY area deals with daily compared to a few thousand NY dead in 30 days.

        1. Annual deaths in NYC for 2016 was 53,891.

          That’s 147 per day.

          According to Cuomo, there were around 600 deaths in 1 day in all of New York State due to COVID-19. Even if you assume only half of those were in NYC, that means 150 additional deaths from the normal rate. It seems like they might just have a morgue capacity issue.

          1. Try NY City area. They are counting all the deaths in all the areas around NYC.

            You people are hysterical liars.

            JHU Sick map lists NYC with only 57,159 confirmed cases as of right now. With 1,562 deaths. When did those 600 deaths occur? Because according to Johns Hopkins there have only been 1,562 deaths since KungFlu hysteria started 5 weeks ago.

            1. 1,562 deaths TOTAL since this counting began on 1/21/2020

            2. I don’t claim to know, you’ll have to ask Cuomo.

              If NYC averages 147 deaths per day, do you doubt that COVID-19 is putting a strain on their morgues? It’s been reported in multiple places that they are using refrigeration trucks, do you doubt that? What exactly is your point in all of this.

              1. You need to provide a citation with full refrigerated trailers. They show the empty trailers.

                I cannot help it if you believe Lefty lies and NY wasted money on refrigerated trailers that they dont need. I guess NYC never considered sending the corpses to less busy morgues. They didnt because they are hysterical fucking morons.

                The point is that you spout hysterical nonsense and wont cite proof to support your positions.

                I personally dont really care. NY imploding from stupidity, murderous rampages, or this virus all works to benefit the USA. Georgia does not and will never NY problems and that is just how we like it. If it gets too bad for Georgians with peopel traveling from NY into Georgia, then we will form militias to block Interstates 75 and 85 coming into Georgia. That and we will keep the retard New Yorkers living in Florida from infecting Georgia.

                1. NY imploding from stupidity, murderous rampages, or this virus all works to benefit the USA.

                  If you ever find yourself praying for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Americans, you may want to take a step back and breathe for a moment. That seems like it shouldn’t need to be said, especially to someone constantly bitching and moaning about “wuhanvirus hysteria”, but then you’re not a very smart person.

                2. Poor unreason. Innocent Americans demanding young American pay their debt and give up income so old Boomers dont die this year? Yeah not what I would call innocent.

              2. Yeah, dude. You’re a liar if you can’t refute LC1789’s speculations about what the real truth is.

                1. I have cites for actual death rates not made up bullshit from lying Democrat governors and unreason sock trolls. I can link the JHU sick map if you cannot type that into google.

                  The math is easy… well for some of us.

                  Still no citation for refrigerated trailers full of dead bodies? The media loves them images of dead bodies when they are soldiers.

    1. hmmm I think they decided no more comments on the roundup. Was gonna be a bloodbath today.

      1. Wondering why it stalled at 39…

        1. Yep, they cut them off.
          Fucking progs

          1. At least Nardz was able to busy himself by snorting coke off some dicks.

            1. It’s a lot more impressive if it’s your own.

            2. You’ve never been funny, eunuch

              1. I’ll never be “coke on a dick” funny.

                1. It’s amusing that eunuch gets so much pleasure out of a typo – or is it the reference to an appendage you’re lacking that dominates your attention?
                  You’ll never be respected, eunuch.

          2. Seems like they’re working again now

        2. No one needs more than 39 comments.

          1. They finally got tired of Fist of Etiquette’s shtick.

        3. Thought my phone was acting up.

          1. No, unreason cut off posting but their spam videos worked just fine.

            1. You need a cite to prove that “unreason cut off posting.” Or maybe just take off your tinfoil hat.

              It seems like a technical glitch, which is not uncommon given the crappy comments function on this site.

              1. unreason’s shitty website is my citation.

                Only the Roundup gets more than a few dozen comments and it stopped just after 10:41am with 39 comments. I know because I was trying to post more.

                Other commenters had the same problem.

                I think it’s funny that unreason got butthurt about being asked for citations, so you shoehorned that into another one of your ridiculous comments.

                1. What’s good for the goose is good for the goose-stepping gander. Carry on comrade.

                2. It’s funny when unreason tries to hide sock trolls. It’s obvious because nobody gives a shit about things that unreason staffers do.

                  1. Where’s your cite that I’m an “unreason sock troll?”

                  2. HAHA. Poor unreason staffers. Such worthless sacks of shit.

                    1. Do you have a cite for that?

                    2. Leo Kovalensky II
                      April.3.2020 at 1:31 pm
                      Do you have a cite for that?

                      You’re welcome.

  3. “But since we’ve been home—no prodding from me—she just decided it was important for her bedroom to stay clean.”

    Probably it was prodding from the government.

  4. It is an oncoming train.

    1. Better than my Herbert Hoover joke.

      1. That Hoover sucked?

        1. Hey, wait…I just got it!

      2. Dam Hoover jokes!

  5. So we move the Roundup comments over here?

    1. +1000

    2. Speaking of which:

      “They call up and say, sir, could you send us 40,000 ventilators?” Trump said peevishly, as if it’s somehow unprecedented for states to turn to federal emergency supplies in emergency situations. “Nobody’s ever heard of a thing like this,” he said.
      Yes, there have been plenty of state and local failures during this crisis. But this is what those federal stockpiles are supposed to be for.

      That moment when a supposed libertarian media pundit expresses shock that the government doesn’t stockpile hundreds of thousands of ventilators that require trained technicians to operate.

      1. Yeah, that was actually a pretty stupid take by ENB. The whole article smacks of “government must do something!” Pretty rich for a libertarian site.

        As I said in the comments there, Reason should focus on the big government steps Trump has already taken, not the big government things he hasn’t yet done.

        1. Those things cost about $30K apiece, too.

          These folks have spent WAAAAY too much time watching Hollywood fantasy fiction that shows government at all levels acting in a hyper-competent manner in a crisis, and never consider that this doesn’t necessarily translate to the real world. Europe, with all of its “free” healthcare systems and overweening socialist programs, has been hit just as hard and had just as many problems in tackling this as the US, but somehow it’s only the system we have here that’s the problem.

          An article by the CBC, of all places, came out recently that had some lessons learned from what happened in Italy. The doctors there said the biggest mistake they initially made was allowing the virus patients to be integrated into the ICUs with the other patients, and because Italy has a system of centralized hospitals, this caused the infection rate to blow up. We’ve basically replicated that here, especially in New York, and NYC’s numbers aren’t being helped by the fact that they’re declaring ANYONE who dies that happens to have coronavirus, to have been killed by coronavirus, irrespective of whether that was the actual cause or not. Interestingly enough, of those who have died so far, 74% have been identified with one or more of the following underlying conditions (quoting from the source): Diabetes, Lung Disease, Cancer, Immunodeficiency, Heart Disease, Hypertension, Asthma, Kidney Disease, and GI/Liver Disease. There’s still close to 400 that they’re trying to document if they have one of these.

          The ones who have died who definitively haven’t had one of those underlying conditions? 1.6% of all deaths. This virus will absolutely crush anyone who is already pretty sick with stuff that is mostly related to things like obesity in particular. It’s why the vast majority of people who have to be put on vents end up dying anyway, and why Fauci said that a lot of the at-risk people who we’re trying to protect right now are going to be dead in the next year. If you don’t have one of these conditions, your chances of dying from this are actually incredibly slim.

  6. The Venezuelan patrol boat should have gone to Guam. There’s a carrier available there.

    1. Iran is sending patrol boats to Guam. They will arrive in 2021.

      1. Guam will capsize by then.

        1. I guarantee that all sailors will be infected with STDs if they keep them on that tiny island for months on end.

          1. There is a reason the Public Health Service wears Navy-style uniforms.

            1. +1000

  7. That light at the end of the tunnel is the one left over from Vietnam; it is a sign that says “not an exit”.

  8. Yes it is true, this pandemic can be traumatic, it is difficult to stay optimistic when very few do not want to tell us whether or not there is a cure free for it. my question is how will we live with it?

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