The anger stage: Frustration mounts as anti-maskers get loud while those following the rules watch gains against COVID-19 erode

Anger may be a natural response to a frustrating situation, but scientists say it also inhibits our ability to process information.

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National News

September 6, 2021 - 4:54 PM

Participants at a Connecticut Capitol rally Monday, July 12, 2021, protest masks and Gov. Ned Lamont's emergency powers, among other issues. (Sofie Brandt/Hartford Courant/TNS)

HARTFORD, Conn. — It was an anti-mask protest in Cheshire than pushed Brett Joly over the edge.

Joly, a middle school teacher in North Haven, had already grown frustrated with a group he saw as obstructing Connecticut’s attempts to control COVID-19. After watching protesters loudly and profanely harass Gov. Ned Lamont at a back-to-school event, he decided to, in his own way, shout back, typing a long and passionate comment on a Facebook page run by a leader of Connecticut’s anti-mask movement, begging that he tone down the rhetoric around face coverings in schools.

The response Joly received was dismissive and unsatisfying, and he was soon removed from the Facebook group, but he doesn’t regret speaking up.

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