Corona Panic

Amidst the current panic, Morgan Housel published two pieces that are worth your time—Part 1 and Part 2.

Housel doesn’t pretend to be an overnight virologist. He doesn’t talk about the virus at all. Instead, he addresses two topics that will be applicable long after this is over—human nature and risk.

We’re not mentally prepared to think about widespread risk…Risk has three parts: The odds you will get hit, the average consequences of getting hit, and the tail-end consequences of getting hit. How people respond to risk is heavily influenced by the tail-end consequences of getting hit, even if it’s the least probable outcome.

Morgan Housel

He goes on to address the comfort in having an opinion (even if ill-informed) during uncertainty and the role social media plays in spreading mis-information.

Perhaps the most important line was this:

It’s OK to admit that we’ll get through this and that this is a big deal.

Morgan Housel

Wash your hands. Follow the advice of experts. Practice social distancing.

On the flip side, remain calm. Think rationally. As Seth Godin reminds us, “Panic is a choice, and so is productive generosity.”

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