ROCHESTER, NY – (WROC) – The impact of last week’s shootings are being felt far beyond El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
The panicked reactions to a backfiring engine in Times Square and a sign falling at a mall in Utah reveal anxieties are running high.
“After things like that happen I always kind of scan the crowd, said Courtney Bates. “It makes me a little nervous and just check and be aware of my surroundings a little bit more.”
Like Bates many people across the nation are on edge. Loud noises in Times Square and at a mall in Utah sent people into panic mode.
“Some times it’s very easy for us to use our denial system and imagine ourselves as being safe,” said Dr. Larry Beer, a psychologist. “But when things happen like this, especially in the frequency that they are, it makes it hard for us to realize that we’re safe.”
Avis Reese says coming to public events like Woodstock Roc has her constantly thinking about her safety.
“I still have to come into these public spaces to do what I love to do,” said Reese, a keyboard player. “It is just sad that has to be in the back of my mind as well.”
And there are some who refuse to live in fear.
“Having gone through 9/11 once you get concerned and become scared you just let them win,” said Isai Pochtar. “So the answer would be no. I am going to go one with my life as I want to live it.”
“I try not to go into places where somebody would pick to do something like mass shootings,” said Quinn Lawrence. “I do the best I can with that. Will that strategy always work? Probably not. But I can’t live my life in fear. I cannot be afraid.”
The American Psychological Association says talking to someone you trust is one way you can manage your anxiety. They say receiving support and care can be comforting and reassuring.