Since a couple of years I see an increasing fear in the public concerning the inevitable – death. 09/11 showed the whole western world and especially a country which thought of itself so strong, that we all can die. Because of external influences. Terrorists, illness, anything.
We are used to have around 30.000 dead people in the US from fire arms. We are used to have 16.000 dead people per year in Germany because of the Influenza. We sort of accept that we are quite likely dieing if we drive a motorcycle or use a car.
But if something NEW comes across, then we need to change our daily live. Because of a one time action in the US 10 years ago. Because of 22 dead people dying of sever diarrhea. While people in Germany being shot with real weapons politicians and the public think about prohibiting the distribution of virtual weapons instead of the real ones.
We think we know that cucumbers are bringing the in an unlikely event deadly virus – so we kill a whole industry. Then we prove out that this knowledge is actually wrong and start to blame something else instead. We destroy economies around Europe, bring existencies to the edge of bankruptcy or beyond – just because we think cucumbers carry the agent. The biggest fear of politicians is at the moment not to react or to react too slowly. I have breaking news – reacting too fast will ask for your head as well, dear Ms. Aigner.
We anticipate that just because we could influence things that we have to influence them. Sure, we can have all the safety you want – stop eating. Problem solved. We are too fat anyway.
Politicians together with a public attitude can do powerful and stupid things. It requires a strong backbone to react calmly and wise towards a crisis. And yes – 22 dead people plus thousands of infected people is a crisis. But please – do not lose the context. Companies are handing around special “information newsletters”. Employees should carefully watch their shit and stay home if it looks funny.
At my customer we have now extra medical disinfection liquid in the bathroom. Didn’t see that one during the Influenza period were approximately 700 times more people died. But hey – it’s new and we need to react to such a crisis properly and take the 16.000 dead just as business as usual.