Urgent Evoke

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Panic during a pandemic: The not so silent killer.

The Tao Te Ching Says:

Gravity is the source of lightness,
Calm, the master of haste.

A lone traveller will journey all day,
watching over his belongings;
Only safe in his own bed may he lose them in sleep.

So the captain of a great vessel should not
act lightly or hastily.
Acting lightly, he loses sight of the world,
Acting hastily, he loses control of himself.

The captain can not treat his great ship as a small boat;
Rather than glitter like jade
He must stand like stone.

What does this mean? Does it even mean anything?

Well, it means that by losing one's calm and collectedness, only bad things can come from it. Whenever a pandemic strikes, more of then than not, the first reaction is media-encouraged fear and panic.

Media outlets need to be more conscious about the effect they have on the public. While it may appear at first glance that panic gets people moving and protecting themselves, in reality it has the opposite effect. We already saw it during the H1N1 virus, which turned out to be no more deadly than seasonal flu.

The media blew the wh*** thing out of proportion and caused unnecessary panic, and the end result was missing days at work or school, overworked medical facilities, paranoia, overspending for unnecessary supplies, antiviral drugs pulled from the shelves, overly busy help lines, conspiracy theories and the list goes on and on.

When comparing the mass hysteria caused by a viral infection with an extremely low mortality rate with the much better handled raise of HIV, one can see a definite contrast on how people respond to a perceived fear based on their level of panic.

Because in the end, that is what panic is: perceived fear. Panic is not based on the true level of threat, but on what people think may happen to them, and that is where the true danger lies, and why it is so vital to manage the public's panic as an integral part of the first pandemic response.

Views: 20

Comment by Samiran Roy on May 3, 2010 at 10:13pm
Good post.
Disaster Management drills prepare you for the worst and decrease your panic. Did you check out my evoke agent rating system?
Comment by Julio Cesar Corona Ortega on May 3, 2010 at 10:14pm
I did and gladly voted, sir. :)
Comment by Samiran Roy on May 3, 2010 at 10:15pm
Ah I see,
Thanks :)

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