The figure shows the movement of VIX and the S&P 500 (adjusted for fluctuations of the USD) in recent weeks. The vertical yellow line is 17th of March. Click on the figure to see it more clearly. We see a sharp outburst of fear and then it rapidly subsided. I'm feeling fairly pleased with myself about an article that I wrote on 18th afternoon in Indian time (i.e. early morning of 18th in the US); a "long S&P + long dollar + short VIX" position from that date would have worked quite nicely. Also see the associated blog entry, and this synthesis of analysis of the disturbances of 2007 and 2008.
Using a dataset from 1/1990 till yesterday, the overall average value for VIX is 19.07. We are now at 18.21. So I guess we're pretty much back to the unconditional mean.