Panic in the US - COVID stress, social distrust, and crowd hysteria.
So - this afternoon, Laz, the older granddaughter, a neighbor and I went to see the latest Spiderman movie at a local mall. Lately, I've had to use a wheelchair when going out for any distance, so I typically stash it in an alcove near the steps and pull myself up the aisles to better seats we normally get.
As usual, we sit through all the credits. Everyone is in a great mood. Suddenly, as the lights come up, a couple guys start yelling "so we're all going to die?" And a parent comes running in yelling for their kid. Obviously some sort of chaos is going on. As I'm getting into my wheelie, the strobe lights come along with a canned evacuation alert. Out of the theater, a few people are running, the smell of burning popcorn and a light smoke is filling the air.
Apparently, this happened -
Now, both Laz and I are former military so we're taking things slow and careful so we could move safely. Other than the panic and popcorn burning, we don't see or hear anything out of place. Our main concern is keeping granddaughter calm. Our neighbor is totally confused, but stuck with us because we were alert but calm. Security was around, but they were doing a sweep rather than crowd control, as they should in a situation like this.
But the hysteria of the mindless crowd... Far more frightening than an actual situation reacting on pure emotion..Getting in their own way as well as in the way of first responders.
Three people were injured besides the original smash and grab criminal who started this whole sorry situation.
It may well be more likely these days, but has always been a potential problem.
If you like Spiderman, it's a good conclusion to this franchise's character arch. The end.of a three movie origin story, with explosions, as it were.
The crowd afterwards, though
.I feel for anyone who had evening show tickets, and those who had just been dropped off to see the afternoons. Saw a good seven or eight groups of people in numbers of 20 to 50 on the easements for the mall ring road waiting to get picked up in low 60's/upper 50s degree weather. Lucky it wasn't too windy or damp, though the sun was starting to go down.
see competent people in action and identify with them. Very much including not letting this unscheduled intermission spoil your moviegoing.
When everyone around me remain calm, I go nuts.