At one of the press conferences on corona held by the Dutch Prime Minister Rutte, I heard him say we must now “decide for 100 % with only 50 % of the information.” He has repeated that oneliner many times since then. There is indeed still so much unknown about the coronavirus or about which measures are working and which ones aren’t. But this also applies to all manner of other things, doesn’t it? Perhaps we should acknowledge complexity as the new normal? Even within our own lives. That calls for a new virtue for our national character: a degree of humility.
Unprecedented and unfair crisis
Corona allows us to experience at first hand how vulnerable our society as a whole is. People get sick and die. All over the world. Healthcare is overstretched and we have lost many of our freedoms in a single stroke. We are not allowed to visit our grandparents, our mothers and fathers, we have to work from home and we have to keep our distance from each other. So, no arm around someone’s shoulder to comfort them. The corona measures affect us all. However, some people are more affected by the virus and the measures than others. Such as homeless people, those with psychiatric illnesses or learning disabilities, the elderly, and workers who have flex contracts. Corona is a huge crisis that involves making far-reaching decisions while not all of the information is readily available, as Rutte rightly points out.
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