October 26, 2014

Don't Worry About It--Yeah Right!

Lately, with the Ebola outbreak, primarily in Africa, but unfortunately also spreading here into the U.S., we are hearing refrains from politicians and pundits, not to be afraid.

- It won’t come here.
- It’s hardly contagious.
- Out health care system is superior.
- It’s all under control.

But what we are finding is that the reassurances are mostly empty words to calm a growing restless public, who are justifiably afraid, and see little to no action from their leaders.

- Ebola has come here to Texas, Maryland, and New York.
- Experts now admit that you can even get Ebola from sweat on the bus, and they blame broken protocols (as yet to be identified) that inflected 2 nurses in Texas.
- Yes, our health system is superior, but we are mostly inexperienced with dealing with a true pandemic.
- Define, “It’s under control” as the CDC is now projecting 1.4M infected by January (and growing exponentially)!

This is like the old adage that we are always trying to fight the last war, and not preparing with an open mind for what the next one will look like.

Similarly, we fail again and again to predict the threats and risks that confront us...Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Depressions/ Severe Recessions, ISIS, and much more are evidence of this.

FDR said “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” but this is dead wrong.

I am afraid that we are not fearing enough (or that even worse, we are afraid to fear)--when this is perhaps of as great, if not of greater importance to adequately preparing ourselves to the immense challenges ahead of us.

Fear can cause paralysis or even chaos, but fear can also drive intelligent preparation, innovation, and life-saving measures.

Lately, many have said to me that unhealthy eating or gun violence is what we should fear and act on, and I think this is truly narrow vision.

We can’t live with heads in the sand, because there are multiple issues that we must confront.

True, we don’t have unlimited resources to address everything 100%, but as I’ve been telling people, we can worry about multiple issues (and I certainly do), work to address them with common sense—in other words, walk and chew gum at the same time!

Everyone seems to have their pet peeve issue that they want politicians to address, but we don’t have the luxury of paying attention to those that big mouths, lobbyists or politicians elevate to fear factor status, and ignoring others that may pose real significant threats to us. 

Frankly, I would rather be a little needlessly afraid, but more thoughtful, prepared/protected, and ahead-of-the-curve in addressing issues, than fearless, foolhardy, not ready, and extremely sorry later. 

While Ebola may or may not be catastrophic to us, when you hear coldly, almost matter-of-factly, “Don’t worry about it,” while thousands are dying and many more horrific deaths are at hand, and we are told by the U.N. that there is no real plan if things continue to go south, then be afraid, be very afraid--and let that guide you to creative problem-solving, and not deer in the headlights inaction. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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