The Public Health Emergency

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by: Wesley Thompson
uploaded: 02/19/2021
notes:
[Excerpt from FT’s Swamp Notes email 2/19/21] From the looks of things, unprecedented is quickly becoming our new “new normal”. (That’s a problem) And when things are routinely unprecedented, as they appear to be now, we really struggle. We need a way to somehow assume the future will be familiar. Unprecedentedness precludes that. (That’s a problem) Not only do we not know what is coming, but we aren’t able to adequately prepare. Everyday life feels like a pop quiz where we’ve walked into class without doing the homework. We feel powerless.  Unprecedentedness overwhelms us cognitively, too. Bombarded with unfamiliarity, we must slow down to sort things out. Not surprisingly, our natural response is to revert to highly simplistic, black-or-white thinking.  There is neither grey nor middle ground.  When everything is unprecedented, truth is up for grabs. (That’s a problem) I am not sure they fully appreciate the extreme uncertainty and powerlessness now felt by many Americans because today’s environment feels so inherently unpredictable.    In comparable times in American history, we’ve turned to our biggest institutions, church and state, for comfort and strength. Today, our biggest institutions seem fragile and unwieldy. Like the power grid now under stress across the south-east, none seems strong enough to handle the mounting load. Truth is up for grabs. That's a problem. Truth is up for grabs. That's a problem. Truth is up for grabs. That's a problem. Truth is up for grabs. That's a problem. That's a problem. That's a problem. That's a problem. That's a problem.  
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The Public Health Emergency
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