Better Safe than Sorry?

We seem to be in a succession of really serious crises, but things are not what they seem. First, we in the United Kingdom experienced a crisis about Brexit. Then we experienced a crisis about floods, which led to an upsurge of interest in climate change. Now as I write the nation is in crisis about the corona virus causing COVID19.

The common features of all these crises is that we are constantly told that they are incredibly serious and we are caused to fear them. The 24 hour news cycle repeats and repeats and repeats again stories that teach us that the crisis, whichever it was, is serious enough to cause large scale death and destruction of our ways of life. This 24 news cycle spews propaganda creating intolerance and hatred.

Yet when the crisis ends we find the nation has voted for Brexit and that crisis is put on the back burner. We find that the rain stops, the floods recede and that crisis is put on the back burner. Now we are in the middle of a Corona virus crisis, a pandemic no less because as I write nearly 13,000 souls have lost their lives after catching the virus. That is 13,000 out of 7.8 billion souls. We are assured that it is necessary to change our ways of life radically to prevent.

I understand that the average age of death of corona virus in Italy (apparently the nation which has had the most corona virus deaths) is just over eighty years old. I would expect that most of the 13,000 folk who caught the virus and died were either over 80 and/or had a serious underlying medical condition which may have ended their lives whatever virus they caught.

The UK government has offered some very sensible advice – particularly about hygiene. Good hygiene is the enemy of all disease, and as a nation perhaps we have become rather lax in enforcing the best hygienic standards both at home, in our work places and in some hospitals. However the government has offered some advice that I find hard to understand about self isolation. The measures taken seem to have panicked much of the population into buying more than they need and it is likely in some cases the constant repetition about the threat of corona virus has caused some to become so anxious that they experience symptoms that they do not have.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, but we must bear in mind that the remedy must not be worst that the disease.

It is a shame that governments across the world do not take the view that with climate change it is better to be safe than sorry, but that is another story to which the 24 hour news cycle has not yet returned.

One Response

  1. I was thinking just the same thing myself recently. “We can’t do anything about climate change because the economy must come first,” they said. But along comes a much (let’s face it) lesser crisis, the virus, and what happens? Draconian measures. Methinks someone at the top is scared to implement strong measures to tackle climate change for fear of the political backlash that would ensue from it.

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