History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes
Looking back, we can see that COVID has clearly revealed the following:
- One. When faced with a problem, if we have insufficient data to make an informed decision and the potential outcome is disastrous, then the most sensible approach is to be EXTRA cautious.
- Two. Unfortunately, most people are very loathe to forego even a tiny amount of pleasure and convenience to mitigate the possibility of a distant threat. Just asking them to stay home or wear a mask was a massive drama.
- Three. Because of this, we should make it a matter of policy to deal with such problems. But governments are not made of special, virtuous individuals (if only!). Instead, they just aim to please the majority, so they too are loathe to impose unpopular measures.
Luckily, it seems that we have finally turned a corner and very soon COVID will just be a bad memory, so we won’t need to apply these harsh lessons. I mean, it’s not as if there were other global catastrophes threatening the world, right…?
Originally published at http://pandemicponderings.wordpress.com on January 9, 2021.