Coronavirus, and the yellow peril hysteria

The panic has set well in.
People are going nuts over Coronavirus.
Just this week alone, world markets have crashed by well over $1 trillion.

Because I’m travelling around South East Asia, friends and family keep sending me messages of concern.
And reminders like “get a mask!”.
I appreciate their concern.
But don’t see the point in panicking.

How serious is Coronavirus?
Very.
But does that warrant the level of reaction it has sparked?
Unlikely.

This situation makes me think of another big pandemic panic – the yellow peril hysteria of 1880.
That one’s impact, in the end, did not justify the panic, hysteria and uproar it triggered.
Which brings me to the two main ways we act and deal with crisis.

Responding.
And,
Reacting.

There is a huge difference between responding to a crisis.
And reacting to one.

Responding involves thinking things through.
And coming up with reasonable, prudent, and well thought out options.
The result is a calm response.
One that is, more often than not, effective.

Reacting, on the other hand, doesn’t involve much thinking.
It is all about acting based mainly (if not solely) on emotions, and letting the emotions take over and dictate ones actions.
The result is quite the opposite of a calm reaction.
One that is, more often than not, ineffective.

Responding results in solutions.
Reacting results in panic and hysteria.

Responding helps people find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Reacting makes people dig in even deeper.

There is a significant difference between responding, and reacting, to a crisis.
The main one being – one helps, the other one harms.

Coronavirus certainly has the potential of becoming a crisis.
Which makes it important to think before you act.
Because if you respond calmly, you stand a much better chance of getting through it than you do if you simply go with the flow and react with blind panic and hysteria.

As always, it’s important to think before you act.

Act responsibly.
Think for yourself.