As of today, (March 14th) the Corona Virus is still at large, at its most prolific point (so far). China is on its knees, with many of its businesses shut down. Italy is in quarantine, with Japan possibly following suite. Travel bans are all overt the map. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in isolation. The NBA, NHL, MLB and XFL are all either cancelled or suspended. Now, I’m not going to start to speculate on what this could mean. I’m not affiliated with the WHO, nor do I have any real experience in pandemics. I can however see what lessons can be learned from the Corona Virus (so far).
In Men in Black, Tommy Lee Jones’ character said “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.” Group think is a dangerous thing. People afraid of a quarantine have stocked up several months of toilet paper, creating the impression of a demand for toilet paper, which then creates more of a demand. Its like when the power goes out starting a riot. If the power goes out and a person who’s out is on their own, they’ll probably finish up whatever it is they’re doing if possible and then head home. However, if a large group of people is out there, its a lot more likely that one will be dumb enough to throw a rock, or break glass or something else stupid. Its like that with Corona Virus. One person will likely take care of themselves just fine (wash their hands, not take unneeded risks, etc). However, you will see one person saying something dumb on social media, such as how all the cancellations are unneeded. Afterwards, several people will echo it saying ‘nobody I know has it’, ignoring the fact that all these cancellations are the reason nobody has it.
Lessons learned about Corona and the media
I’ve mentioned before that the media can be biased. However, with Italy’s healthcare system on the ropes, we can see that the amount of headlines this has gotten in not for nothing, as healthcare in the rest of the world could follow. Remember to stay inside, avoid contact with those who are sick, and most importantly: wash you hands.