The coronavirus is spreading more and more, and as I am in my ‘isolation’ spot (an idillyc one if i can say that), more out of prevention, civic sense and preference for ‘staying out of trouble’ than out of fear, I have began to think.
Why are we so afraid of this virus and not so of other matters?
YES, it is killing some people and has done some damage in China, YES, it places vulnerable people at risk (especially the elderlies)
and YES, it spreads faster and NO, we don’t have a cure or a vaccine for it…
But still, WHY is this scarier than other things and requires preventive measures like closing of schools and cancellation of events, even sport events (outside in the fresh air…) ?
I found a really interesting ‘nytimes’ article (here https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/world/asia/coronavirus-risk-interpreter.html) that tackles just that. It’s all about experience, novelty, and our beloved emotions
It won’t make us perceive it as less risky if somebody tell us that something else that we are more familiar with, let’s say the flu, can also be this deadly. I think our brains are a bit faulty like that..
Nonetheless, while we are worried, panicking, going through all of the worse case scenarios in our head due to this little tiny microbe, we are ignoring bigger threats. The economy can stop for the coronavirus but climate mitigation actions need to ‘keep in mind economical growth’.
Just to be clear, I have nothing against the measures taken for the virus here, nor I want to minimise the issue. I just want to say that there are equally risky things, which will have equally (or even worse) risks for our health and economy, that for some reasons we are not feeling like tackling with such a sense of urgency..
reading the ‘global risks report 2020’ https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2020 you can get a sense of what I mean. Climate-related issues dominate the risk agenda! Both in terms of likelyhood than in terms of impact. Extreme weather events (storms, floods, heat waves), fires, natural disasters.. will become more and more frequent. can have a huge impact on us (from a wellbeing and health perspective) and our beloved economy!
Think about it - losing homes, cities, connections, being unable to go outside - not to talk about worse case scenarios (death risk?).
Yet we are somehow not feeling the urgency.
When the fires are burning, the cities are flooding and the winds are blowing, the medias fill their pages with words about climate change, politicians make some empty promises and then a few days everything goes back to full on normality. But the risks are still there, and worse, we are making it even riskier by ignoring it. But maybe it’s easier to ignore it?
Let’s go back to the virus one moment.
Maybe the same is happening with it also. Yes, we are seeing it as something very risky - and the medias are full of words about prevention: washing our hands, avoid spitting snot and saliva around when sneezing, having the decency to stay home when ill.. herm.. aren’t these basic hygiene rules?! Maybe we wouldn’t have these issues if we were all just a bit more considerate.
And yes, I am guilty of this myself. Having a slight cold might not seem like enough of an illness to skip a meeting or a day of work. But maybe we should reconsider. We should also reconsider how we travel. Do we really need to take that flight if we have a full on flu?
It goes all back to our modern, stressed out, full on lifestyles.
Maybe it’s time to perceive those as ‘risky’ ?
Disclaimer: some posts may contain affiliate links. At no extra costs to you, buying through the link will help me in this blogging journey!