Our varying panic
Different countries have taken numerous varying stances against the coronavirus. Some implemented strict measures and contained the virus spread while others did not give it much importance and are suffering through a flood of cases.
We only have a rough idea of how deadly this disease is seven months after it was detected. A rough. But we still are adjusting our responses and measures against it.
If this were a much deadlier virus, we would see people act in a much different way and, there’d be stricter lockdowns. And if this were a milder virus, then people would stop panicking right away and go about their work life. That’s what happened in the USA where many people think this is a milder virus (some people call it fake!).
What I have learned by reading Taleb’s works is that it is better to over-panic than under panic. If we over-panic and are right, we avoid it. If we over-panic and are wrong, there isn’t much loss. If we under-panic and are wrong, we suffer and die. If we under-panic and are right, we gain nothing, just a pat on the back that we were right. The benefits are asymmetrical on the over-panicking side.
For a viral spreading harmful novel disease, we have no idea how it can harm us. Thus it is always better to err on the safe side.
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