COVID-19 vs 9/11 - Which knocked you for a bigger loop?

It’s probably too early for this but I thought the question might spark some solid discussion.

Which event gave you a harder kick to the gut?

9/11 was the more SHOCKING event because it just happened all at once. At one point the WTC was standing, and an hour later it was not.

This is a far more frightening thing, that impacts everyone directly, but it’s been a gradual process.

9/11. I’m a former New Yorker and had just left NYC a few years prior to 9/11. I could see the twin towers from my apartment. When they went down I was totally devastated. COVID-19 is a more personal threat, since I’m in a high-risk group, but the threat has happened gradually, and there are ways to protect myself.

This will have a much bigger global impact, although the event itself is not as spectacular. By the time it’s done, it will be clear that the United States is no longer a world hegemon and the other powers will be jockeying for position.

For me, it’s been Covid-19 because there have been direct repercussions. I didn’t personally know anyone who died on 9/11, nor was I working in the aviation industry at the time. But now…

I fly chartered airplanes, and this past week was a surreal time to be traveling for a living. The hotels I stayed at were practically empty. At one point we were in a huge Hilton, and there were 10 people staying there. It was like The Shining - I would walk through this enormous property and see nobody. We were worried enough about just finding food that my company began calling ahead and verifying. But things changed very quickly, and we could never be completely certain.

As for the flying end of things, changes came fast there too. Twice we were re-routed due to airspace being closed. Indianapolis Center and New York Center were both closed for a while because they found infected personnel there and shut down. One day going from Florida to New York we were sent 200 miles off our original route, and we were lucky to have enough fuel aboard. A couple of times we found out, in flight, that the towers were shut down at our destination. This usually means the field goes to “uncontrolled” operations, which adds complications, but there are some airports that just shut down entirely.

I got home yesterday without incident, and I’m very glad to be here. But I’d put even money that I won’t have a job in another week or three. Our bookings have dropped to almost nothing.

This is our Chernobyl, the event that makes it clear that the entire system is unsustainable, corrupt, and the Populace too ignorant and brainwashed to respond.

I was in NYC for 9/11 and it was a terrible unbelievable shock and the lingering smell of the fires went on for weeks. The first few hours were bad because nobody knew what was going to happen next. Once loved ones were accounted for, things settled into the mourning and cleanup and getting back to normal life.

Now I’m in NYC for covid19 and while I know it’s going to sweep through and taper off at some point it has me more freaked out. Empty shelves at the grocery stores was unnerving at first. Anyone has a target on their back. At this point it just keeps getting worse. It’s the whole country too, not just a few places. We’re just trying to get through the next month or so in one piece and at the other end is who the hell knows what. And it still won’t be completely over.

I thought 9/11 would be the “historical” event of my lifetime. This feels much bigger. It is global, of course. It’s also more humbling: 9/11 was, at it’s core, a small group succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. It was tragic, of course, but it didn’t make me question society’s ability to handle such threats. I never doubted we were up to the challenge. But this–even if we weren’t mismanaging the fuck out of it, it might have been too much.

I think both China and the US will take a major hit to their reputations though.

China suppressed the virus until it got out of control. Also their use of wet markets is what leads to these viruses coming out over and over again.

Agreed. The only question is who will play Trump in the HBO miniseries.

I’m about 40, how many historical events have I seen so far?

collapse of the USSR, 9/11, great recession

Now the coronavirus and the coming global recession/depression

COVID-19, no question. I was hiking Mt. Whitney on 9/11, so I didn’t experience the events in real time and never felt any kind of existential dread in the days that followed. As it happened I took an early retirement offer that December and have been able to indulge my wanderlust ever since. Now, with the shelter in place order, I’m not supposed to travel beyond the county line, not to mention there’s the spectre of the virus floating around anytime I wander around in public.

I’d say 9/11. It was a bigger jolt, all in one day.

But we also have to take recency bias into account. Some responses of “Covid-19” will no doubt be because the coronavirus is fresher in our minds.

9/11 for me. I worked nights and went to bed about the time the Pentagon was hit. I woke up 6 hours later to all planes grounded and the towers gone. ATM besides the handwashing and social distancing, my life has not really changed much with Covid19. I and everyone in the house are working pretty much their same hours. It’s more a sense of waiting for everything to get unpaused around me.

Edit: What is Brangelina?

It’s a portmanteau nickname for Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie.

9/11, because, as others have already noted, it was so shocking in its suddenness.

This has been like watching an ongoing train wreck for the past 3 months, watching the disaster get inexorably closer, and shaking one’s head in disbelief at the willful ignorance (or outright denial) of way too many officials in way too many countries.

COVID-19. I was both sick and sleep deprived during the 9-11 attack and immediate aftermath, so was too emotionally numb to be “knocked for a loop”.

9/11 for sure because it was unfolding live on tv and it was something you had to process within a short period of time. Images of the plane hitting the building, the collapse of the towers, and the sounds of emergency vehicle sirens and people’s scream for help leave an indelible mark on the psyche. It’s one of those events that you clearly remember where you were and what you were doing when you look back at it, like the news of Princess Diana’s death or the space shuttle Challenger explosion.
The coronavirus pandemic will ultimately leave a bigger mark on a global scale but it’s not as shocking since events are still unfolding with new news every day. The news might not be great but we have time to process it, and rightly or wrongly, there’s belief that there’s still time to do something about it giving us a glimmer of hope that we are in control of our fate. However, the fear is definitely more palpable since we don’t know when this will end and what the final outcome will be.

This will be talked about with more importance (for lack of a better word) than 9/11, mainly because of the stock market issues. In a hundred years, people that deal with the stock market day in and day out and econ books will still be talking about this like they talk about the great depression and like they still talk about the dotcom bubble and the 2008 housing crisis. 9/11 will be an ‘event’ that gets talked about in grade school history for a day, just like Pearl Harbor or dropping a-bombs on Japan.

Having said that, 9/11 was a bigger event in for me. I lost a good chunk of change in this current market, but it happened over the course of a few weeks, was partially due to other things (Trump announcing the tariffs) and I’m in a financial position where this didn’t wreck me. Yes, I lost a good bit of money, but I’m still going to pay all my bills.

9/11, OTOH, was a bigger deal not because of anything personal, but because I watched it play out live on TV. I was in college, getting ready for class and turned on the TV, which I virtually never did before my first class. They cut to NY and showed the building with smoke pouring out of it. As they were trying to figure out what happened (I recall suggestions of a bomb, a missile and an airplane), I watched the second one hit and, again live, the two towers collapse. It was all so surreal.

If I didn’t happen to catch it happening live, I’d probably say the current market collapse since that had a much bigger effect on me, personally.

I received a small inheritance the day before the market crashed, in late February. I started losing it the following day. :smack: