Unprecedented. Such hyperbole has become common recently; we’ve heard it in the news, read it in headlines and in the weekly updates from various government agencies. As we all do our best to keep abreast of the quickly changing landscape, it is natural to approach the unknown with a particular amount of skepticism, apprehension, or even fear. Our anxiety can get the best of us, and such hyperbolic language only exasperates that tendency.
It’s important to remember that while we may not remember anything quite like this pandemic and the quarantine conditions we find ourselves in, it is far from being unprecedented. Our understanding of infectious disease has come a long way since The Black Death. Not only have we been here before, but just as with all the other diseases we’ve dealt with over the past seven centuries we’ll get through this one too.
In his book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World-and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, Hans Rosling reminds us that “things can be both bad and better.” Here are a few fun charts to help maintain a little perspective; to remind us of how much we’ve already accomplished. (click on them to link to the interactive original)
Take a deep breath, and remain calm. People have been screaming, “THE END OF TIMES!” since forever. While we may have some work to do, we’ll get through this. Keep moving forward as best as you can. And don’t forget to wash your hands.