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Slow Down to Make Better Decisions in a Crisis

Using deliberative reasoning

There is a lot of information out there right now about the virus and how to react. 

Take the time to read and digest it (maybe even discussing it with an expert) before making important personal and business decisions.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Slow Down to Make Better Decisions in a Crisis

Slow Down to Make Better Decisions in a Crisis

https://hbr.org/2020/03/slow-down-to-make-better-decisions-in-a-crisis

hbr.org

5

Key Ideas

Decision-making obstacles

Psychological reasons why we find decision-making difficult right now:
  • The realness of the present threat: the new virus is really contagious and people are dying from it around the world.
  • The amount of uncertainty about the virus: the real number of infected people, the speed of its spread, future projections.
  • We have little control over the situation. This creates anxiety. In addition, we may be doing our part, but it is hard to know which actions and programs are having an impact on creating the absence of the disease.

The pandemic and our biases

The threat, uncertainty, and anxiety related to the pandemic lead us to make short-sighted decisions:

  • we crave more information so we are spending a lot of time looking for news updates relating to the virus and its spread. But too much negative news causes stress and distraction.
  • the lack of agency causes people to seek out actions that will make them feel more in control. Early on, this took the form of buying hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol.

Financial decisions

People want to take action quickly, even when inaction might be more prudent.
Faced with anxiety, some are making quick decisions about finances as well and started fear selling their stocks. But this is taking a paper loss in the present that is likely to come back in the future (given the way stock markets have acted in the past).

Slowing down

To make good decisions in troubled times, it's best to slow down, even if our fears urge us to take action.
Most of the actions you are likely to take will not be prudent in the face of a potential pandemic. By slowing down, you can use deliberative reasoning with data.

Using deliberative reasoning

There is a lot of information out there right now about the virus and how to react. 

Take the time to read and digest it (maybe even discussing it with an expert) before making important personal and business decisions.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The State Of The Virus

Life around the world is changing dramatically as we practise social distancing, staying away from our friends and avoiding going to our favourite places, or even being unable to work. We already l...

Uncertain Time Frame

Top experts say the virus is going to be circulating for a year or two and can keep infecting people, causing outbreaks until there is a vaccine or treatment to stop it. If we drop the unpleasant and strict measures, the virus outbreak can know no boundaries or limits of infections. It won’t simply go away in two weeks.

Guidelines by WHO

  • Wash your hands regularly, and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of it properly.
  • Clean and disinfect doors, handles and objects that are touched all the time.
  • Contact a health professional if you have symptoms; fever and a dry cough are most common.
  • DON’T touch your face.
  • DON’T go out of your home.

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Pandemic Anxiety

Excessive anxiety around this global pandemic is becoming a mental health epidemic across the world.

While a certain amount of stress is useful, it needs to be channelled to help us act in t...

Times of Uncertainty

Humans subconsciously look for self-protective assumptions when faced with uncertain situations, and different personalities have a different level of ‘optimism bias’. This bias, however, has the opposite effect when faced with a life-threatening, invisible enemy.

Those who have faced adverse situations can turn to panic buying and hoarding, with some feeling empathy towards others as well.

Talking To Children

Children think of the world as a safe, good place, as they are shielded from the worst aspects. With this new virus, we need to help them adjust, telling them to stay home as there is a strange bug outside that makes elders sick and can be spread easily to them. They also need reassurance and age-appropriate answers to help them comprehend the situation.
Example: You can tell them that kids seem to not get very sick from this, but it affects older people more

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Outbreak terms

  • Endemic is a disease that regularly infects humans, like the flu.
  • Pandemic is a worldwide spread of a new disease. 
  • Epidemic

Public health measures

  • Social distancing is a slew of tactics meant to keep people at a six feet distance from each other to keep droplets from an infected person's nose or mouth from landing on another person.
  • Quarantine is restricting the movement of, or isolating, people who might have been exposed to an infection but who aren't sick.
  • Isolation is separating people with confirmed or probable infections from other healthy people.
  • Lockdown is a term used by public health officials or lawyers to refer to anything from mandatory geographic quarantine to non-mandatory recommendations to shelter in place, to anything in between.
  • Cordon sanitaire is the restriction of movement in and out of a region or city.
  • Shelter in place is an order requesting people to stay at home, except for trips to the grocery store, pharmacies, and other essential errands.

Medical equipment

  • A ventilator is a machine that assists a patient in breathing when they have trouble breathing on their own.
  • PPE (Personal protective equipment), such as masks, gloves, face shields, and other gear that keeps health care workers from catching an infection.
  • A respirator is a face mask that seals around the mouth and filters out particles from the air before they are breathed in.
  • Surgical mask or face mask are loose-fitting masks that don't filter out all the particles but stop a wearer from spreading droplets of contagion when they sneeze or cough.

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