Now comes the last hour, which is what separated the best traders from the mediocre ones. Traders had to realize that options expiration was at hand, and that there was the possibility of an SEC announcement as well regarding any changes -- from bringing back the uptick rule, to possibly putting its own shorting ban in place. The latter of the two was what actually was decided on.
As a trader or short-term investor, you always have to live to fight another day. A real maverick would actually have not only covered the short, but would have even went long -- that was the ultimate trade that most would not have made. One thing that happens to traders is they don't change their style on a dime -- if a trader is printing money on the short side, they won't do a 180 and go 100% long in a split second. The change is normally more gradual -- and also applies for the converse, going from long to short.
For those that stayed short, you have to pick yourself off the floor today and take the hit. It's going to hurt, but the market keeps giving investors/traders opportunities on a daily basis. Eating a big piece of humble pie goes a long way. Trust me, I've been there. It's the only way to learn and improve as an investor.