On many subjects, I’ve often written this sentiment: the world is divided into two groups.
My latest realization is that, in a parallel way, FEAR divides us also.
The world is made up of people who are afraid and those who are not.
I think this far more critical than divisions of physicality, capability, or belief in any way.
Afraid, or not.
Pick your subject and people divided easily, self-identifying their fear (or not) of Brexit, impeachment, etc.
Now a bat derived virus – who knew? Well, many people knew – but they tolerated it. The sale of live animals in markets is commonplace in China, apparently. The lesson of SARS (its proliferation began there too) was obviously forgotten by the Chinese government. Post-SARS, they became unafraid, and returned to old ways.
And now they have reason to be afraid again. Whether they were hasty, or too slow, in shuttering those markets and quarantining massive volumes of population now appears an essential measure. Whether it was necessary or not, too slow, or not, will become apparent in time. Based on news reports of cases and deaths, it looks like the clampdown on travel and isolation of the city where it began as prudent, but not before a lot of visitors and Chinese tourists spread it around the planet.
For now, fear spreads.
A worldwide emergency warning from the UN.
And Brexit finally happening.
Should we fear that too?
It seems so far away, seems to be someone else’s problem, but we’ve learned the geopolitics, and financial matters are in a new category: EVERYTHING IS GLOBAL
Most people I encounter are not walking around, appearing to be fearful, but we carry our fears inside us. A worried face shows up when we have a near-miss in traffic, when we bite-nails in an emergency room, or forget to fill up the tank. Those momentary temporary surface fears make our heart race faster for a few minutes, but they don’t last.
More profound longer-lasting fear doesn’t show so much. No less real, it is not apparent – and those of us walking around with a deep concern spend more time concealing rather than voicing our worry.
Now, back to the virus.
Are you afraid of the common cold, the common flu, a common headache – and is your fear greater than or lesser than your fear of death? Which begs the question, what percentage of us fear death?
I doubt many of us spend much time of any day fearing death. It’s a lot like driving our car in heavy traffic in bad weather – we all do it, we all accept the risk, and while we might fear a crash with someone driving too fast or unsafely, we don’t fear death because we discount the risk as negligible.
So what are our odds?
Should we fear a virus that is killing people, but not very many, and appears to be contained?
Or should we fear driving to the mall?
The odds are about the same – very low risk of death from either.