Changing risk appetites

For philosophical reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic. How can philosophy help us to understand it, to combat it and to survive it?

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Changing risk appetites

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Given that every conversation seems to be about covid like it or not at present, but all our conversations on this topic have become repitive to the point of complete tedium, perhaps we should look at all this stuff in some new light

Henry introduced us to a piece written by George Avery comparing Covid-19 to the 1957 Asian Influenza A:H2N2 or 1968 Hong Kong Influenza A:H3N2 pandemics. You can find it here.

We can have yet another pointless discussion about case fatality rates if we really must, but perhaps it is more interesting to look at how all of this fits into the changes that have happened in our (rich world at any rate) societies over the last 50 or so years. Is it true that our grandparent's generation bore things such as covid with a lot less pissing their pants than we have? I vote yes.

I thnk the majority of the story can be told with reference to graphs such as the one below published by Britain's Heath and Safety Executive. Most countries should have similar graphs I expect.
What it shows is a reducaed appetite for preventable deaths. In this particular case, mostly of construction workers falling to their deaths. But similar attitudes are present everywhere you look today. In the 50s and 60s people used to die in house fires because their fridges and water boilers ignited, now we are condemned to a life of non-explosive appliances and incredibly shrill fire alarms.

We ban toys that choke children, and lead from all the stuff they might lick. Asbestos is totally banned everywhere, extremely large soda cups are banned in some places, nobody can smoke anywhere comfortable any more.

Does this go any way to explaining why we get all shrivelled up and scared when faced a couple of million deaths when our grandparents just got on with things in the face of the same thing? Is it all health and safety gone mad?
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Changing risk appetites

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

The difference between our grandfathers and us at present is the "internet" and the ease information flow from every corners to all corners of the World.

To facilitate survival, DNA/RNA wise ALL humans are "programmed" with a "panic button" expressed explicitly or subliminally and people are triggered to a "panic response" upon certain stimuli especially that of an existential threat.

There are many ways the panic button is triggered and many ways different people respond to that panic.

One way is the subliminal basis.
The majority of our "grandfathers" has been triggered with an existential crisis subliminally and this subliminal panic had driven the majority to theism to deal with the panic of the subliminal existential crisis. But the number of people [non-theists] being indifferent to this subliminal threat and risk is increasing.

Where the threat is explicit, it depends on the risk of sufferings and dying from that existential threat.

In the case of covid19, the data is whilst most of those who died are the older and those with pre-existing diseases, there are also evidence the younger and healthier ones had also died. Thus the existential threat of Covid19 is a threat to every on, even pets and other animals. This could be a threat to the human food chain.

Another problem is due to the high uncertainty and there is no vaccine for the Covid19 at present.
At first most [scientists, health experts, leaders] thought Covid19 is like any of the seasonal and Corona Flu where humanity has curtailed its threat in the past.
But when Covid19 behave distinctly different and is so virulent and the exponential speed it has spread, the panic around the world increased tremendously.

At present the total infection is 3+ million and 211K death.
But we do not know what will the likely final totals be?
Given that those had suffered Covid19 had also relapsed and that there is no vaccine in sight yet, we cannot be certain the final total of death is likely to be a couple of millions.
In addition, there is a possibility whatever vaccines formulated may not catch up with the rate the Covid19 mutates.

One critical reason why our grandfathers did not panic worldwide was the absence of internet and live updates like this;

The other critical reason is the unique characteristic of the Covid19 virus which is very different from the other corona and other flu viruses [SARS, MERS, H1N1, etc.] of the past.
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Re: Changing risk appetites

Post by Belinda »

Sorry but for some reason of the website I cannot quote FlashDangerpants.

Knowledge of health and safety come from a knowledgeable elite ' down' to uninformed people. Same with knowledge of the present pandemic with the addition now of supermedia to commmunicate knowledge.

Knowledge of the present pandemic includes what those other ways to die do not include. Coronavirus is extremely infective, and unlike falling from buildings and licking lead, there is not a convenient remedy for it. Moreover the most recent fact to emerge about coronavirus it's a precursor of inevitable pandemic by another causal organism that is not only as infective as coronavirus but also lethal to most who experience symptoms or display signs of it.

That overview also includes: the only way to avoid such a dismal human future is to immediately stop treating wild and domesticated animals like we treat non-living commodities.It will be some time before the ignorant electorates understand; as the ships of state are impossible to stop or radically change course without revolutions.
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Re: Changing risk appetites

Post by Dontaskme »

FlashDangerpants wrote: Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:24 am
Does this go any way to explaining why we get all shrivelled up and scared when faced a couple of million deaths when our grandparents just got on with things in the face of the same thing? Is it all health and safety gone mad?
Yes,the world, aka the mind, aka the inner-net of things has gone totally bonkers. I'm so sick of hearing that word ''CORONAVIRUS''

It's almost like there is absolutely NOTHING else going on in life right now, it's all just gone totally OTT and pathetic, and I sometimes wished I was living in Sweden.

It's like, come on, that which is born is going to die, so we the self aware ones are all going to frigging die one day, we really need to just get over it and stop being hysterical and dramatic. It's like why do people these days seem to be so fricking offended by the idea of aging, death and dying. It's almost like this world is run by a bunch of teenages that feel as though they are immortal. And what difference when you are DEAD will it make whether you've lived 2 years or 100 years, because in the grand scheme of eternity, every single moment that you are aware you are alive is enough, because awareness of self, however much you experience is only ever this eternal now moment anyway, and that's enough, it's always enough because it's all there IS.

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