What the virus highlights about human nature

Discussions about the coronavirus - COVID19
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Grumpy Old Man
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What the virus highlights about human nature

Post by raoul »

One thing that has struck me about this virus is how self-centred the majority of people are.

Just look at the majority of questions being asked now:

- why can't I see my family members if I am expected to go back to work?
- I do not see how it causes a problem if I go to the beach/park or have a mass bbq
- I am 35 and healthy so I am unlikely to die from this so why should I change my life
- how am I supposed to earn any money

And the more indirect:

- oooh, I am scared about going back to work as it might not be safe (aka (for some) I am getting paid to sit on my arse and actually I like this)

I am not suggesting this is odd. Self-interest is a totally natural human instinct. But the only debate in town should be about overall strategy, and how best to execute it. As a first time grandfather who has yet to meet my 5 week old grandson (or see my brilliant but naturally nervous 17 year old new-mum daughter who does not live at home anymore and relies on her 18 year old fiance), I reluctantly abide by the rules. Of course there are questions I want to ask but the PM should not be answering them - get the overall plan right and then the detail can follow. One person's situation cannot justify the policy for a country.

My second observation is how history repeats itself. Quick history lesson - 300 years ago a company was formed and its directors fleeced investors (South Seas Company, if you are interested) by hiding the truth and personally enriching themselves. Investors were ruined. The response to this sudden scary situation? A ban on companies issuing shares.

300 years on and companies are back (and have been for a fair old while) and still regularly fleecing investors. We have realised that we probably need the advantages of companies so will put up with the disadvantages but with controls in place (laws, corporate governance) and keep aiming to control the bad side better, while accepting we can never get it totally under control, and that humans who want to screw it up will always find a way of doing so.

The same is going to be true with Covid. Just as capitalists, car drivers, the flu all keep causing damage we accept that all will likely exist going forward and try to manage them the best we can. Collateral damage is going to happen, so let's minimise it. We have tried the total ban approach via a lockdown, and now we need to investigate moving on because if we do not do it formally the human race will ignore governments and do whatever it wants.

Risk management is not a science. It is a balancing act, and perfect solutions do not exist. We all have a different appetite for risk, and as such will bicker over the most appropriate solutions until we are blue in the face. What we cannot do is totally ban normal life, or equally totally ignore the virus and watch millions die. Where in between we position ourselves is down to personal politics and opinions, and since Boris won he gets to make the call for now.

Just wish his amazing comms advisors could help him communicate it more effectively...

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FISO Baron
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Re: What the virus highlights about human nature

Post by murf »

....and that is why we need society/government/politicians!

(A scary enough thought)

PS You forgot: - when is the footie starting again?

PPS My only objection to these plan is the lack of detail and stressing of key points (which people will happily ignore). The new plans are good (IMO) if people stick to them. No harm in (healthy) people being out and about IF they can keep 2m apart. In fact I think meeting up rules are a little too tight (not selfishly - I have no need/wish to meet anybody) - what harm would there be in two households meeting in a park, 2m apart (rather than just 2 individuals as now allowed - not that people will stick to this as it hasn't been stressed and they will have selective deafness)? All far safer than going shopping indoors!

Selfishly(?), my concerns and that of the 1000s of people around me is that the new rules allow a mass influx of tourists to our national park who could congregate at honey spots and spread the virus. I'm not sure why many will come as they will get a bit of a shock as there are no facilities for them - campsites/hotels/pubs/cafe/shops/even car parks and toilets all closed plus the local authority and mountain rescue folks are still asking people not to walk on the fells (risk of accident / stretching of resources etc). Some will still drive here for 100s of miles stopping to get petrol, eat and go to the loo (are service stations open?) and risking breakdowns and accidents etc.

OK, people need to get to the countryside for their mental health but a simple solution Boris - restrict "driving to exercise" to something like a 30 minute or even 1 hour round trip. Everyone has somewhere nice and green within half an hour's drive, even Londoners!

Bob Newhart
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Re: What the virus highlights about human nature

Post by Bob Newhart »

It tells us that when a country is run by Bungle Bear (Boris), Mad Raab, George Useless and Hancock's Half Hour that we're largely stuffed.

It also tells us that no matter how bad things seem... someone is always worse off than you (USA, Trump).

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