A simple glance at your social media newsfeeds today will tell you that all anyone is thinking about is the novel coronavirus and its associated disease COVID-19.
The reaction you’re probably witnessing on those same feeds ranges from indifference to calm cautiousness to outright buy-up-all-the-toilet-paper panic. On the latter end are people acting like we’re in the opening scenes of The Walking Dead or Contagion. And on the former end are those who seem utterly unconcerned about the coronavirus or its effects. They’ll say things like, “The flu kills way more people a year than this virus has but we don’t close down March Madness for the flu!” Or they’ll point out that the mortality rate is low, at most 3%, which means that most people will suffer the disease with low impact.
But what goes unrecognized in such an analysis is that it’s not the disease that’s frightening; it’s the uncertainty.Continue reading