In decision-making, it’s best to break things into pieces. Pieces are best made by asking questions.
In a state of bedlam, as this Corona Event is, pieces are essential to making wise decisions. We shouldn’t want someone else making decisions for us.
So… what are the pieces we are dealing with right now?
Fear of pain physically (sick), emotionally (freedoms), and financially. But that’s still too broad. Let’s go deeper. Let’s ask a question.
What kind of pain?
The pain of slowly dying. This is unfolding over weeks, not hours or days like 9/11. The pain has more a desperate gasping to it… like drowning (specifically, as I see it, ‘water-boarding’). The fear of drowning fits more in line with what we are actually seeing. Important to get a hold of as it informs us in asking the next question.
What are the characteristics of drowning?
People thresh about, panic, and often will cause the people who come to their rescue to drown with them. Next question.
How do we stop the fear of drowning?
Easing the panic of drowning is difficult. Usually it would require a stunning shock that stops them from flailing about… a slap to the face, a punch to the nose. Is there anything that can act like that that we can do? Well, using the Diamond Princess as the basis for rationally seeing the lack of severity and, indeed, the lack for any panic whatsoever in this Crown Event works. However, folks continue to watch and listen to the fear porn which cancels it out. Next question.
Can we get people to turn off their broadcast media addiction to fear pornography?
Simple answer? No, we can’t, because now you get into people making choices. It’s not just external circumstances causing the danger. People on the whole enjoy their fear, they choose to fear, that’s why horror movies do so well – not to mention soft porn.
So, what CAN we do?
Just as every aspect of life is being upended, so, too, are the methods of rescue. Old paradigms will not work, the breadth of damage is too deep. Rationality and critical thinking – already on a death-spiral for decades – is virtually non-existent in the general population at this point. Folks – even the older among us – have no difficulty anymore holding and acting on several contradictory views at the same time. Evaluating facts and evidences is, for all intents and purposes, gone. People have truly, “lost their minds.”
It’s the strangest thing to witness.
So is palliative care an answer? Not to my mind. Easing the drowning experience seems horrifyingly cruel.
Substantive help is the only and always way to go. You can try to help, but with the understanding that you may very well get a black eye and take a quart of water into your own lungs because of the person your trying to help. Talking reason in a calm tone may get them to stop struggling and listen.
Otherwise, all you can do is pray and wait for an opportunity with each individual. It’s tough either way as you sadly have to watch the panic knowing that it’s so easy to survive if you stop struggling and think critically about what’s really happening.
In the mean time, let’s keep doing what we can with those who will listen.