MANHATTAN, NY — With rising cases of mass shootings all over the country, a simple motorcycle backfiring in a public place like New York’s busy Times Square could be mistaken for gunshot — and could cause major panic in a crowd.
This was the horrific scene for thousands of New Yorkers and tourists — who are already rattled in the wake of three mass shootings in California, El Paso, Texas, and Ohio that left at least 34 dead and dozens injured.
Panicked reactions were posted on social media, including from an ABS-CBN News colleague, who all asked, “Is this the new normal?”
“Yes, this is the new normal, people need to get used to it. I think people running away from danger is a good thing. They should run away, they should hide and immediately call the authorities and let the trained professionals deal with it,” says Karl Romaine, a life coach and author of “Unbreakable.”
“I think it’s good that more people are more aware of their surroundings and the different things around them.”
Karl Romaine has coached people who are going through trauma and grief. He said that the recent back to back mass shootings are bound to create anxiety even with people who were not present during the attacks.
Mental health experts have said that recent mass shootings could have affected people who were not even near Dayton or El Paso, without even realizing it.
The local mental health authority in El Paso reported that the calls to their crisis hotline this weekend dramatically increased from an average of 50 to up to 190.
“But we are especially trained our staff to recognize those signs that it might not be a today thing or a tomorrow thing, it might be weeks from now when individuals might still be having a hard time coping or processing what has happened,” said Noreen Jaramillo.
The National Center for PTSD estimates that 28 percent of people who have witnessed a mass shooting develop post-traumatic stress disorder and about a third develop acute stress disorder.