Panicking Together?

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For those who undergo chemo, it is good to work on their condition. Walking helps. When a 75-year-old father and a 49-year-old daughter do that three times a week, either hell or a kind of familiar lightness arises that somewhat offsets the weight of all the compassion that a bald head inevitably evokes. In Coronavirus time, a hiking-schlager title was created: Panicking Together.

Today is the day that Rutte addressed Dutch society (again in a press conference) and announced (for the time being, incidentally, minimal) measures in response to the revival of COVID-19 infections. If you look around you will see what panicking together can look like. In different forms:

Panic in those who are especially afraid of their businesses (the Mr Winner-like) and the influence the measures will have on their odds to survive. In this case: representatives of the pubs that have to close at midnight, for example.

Panic in those who are especially afraid of the social order and the support it requires, also regarding the measures set (the Mr Stickler-like). In this case: Rutte, parliament, demonstrating COVID deniers, the vulnerable elderly.

Panic in who (mister Buddy-like) is especially afraid of his socio-cultural network(s) and the contact modalities that are required to keep them alive and that are threatened by the measures. In the present case: care and teaching personnel, for example, and practicing religious groups, and the backers of theater companies and football clubs. And, of course, the sects with diverging ethic behavioral scenarios for the elderly (vulnerable) and the young people (potential “carriers” but themselves more or less COVID immune).

There is also panic in those who (as Mr Node-similar) are especially afraid for the intellectual order and the shared views required for establishing consistency between observations and coherent story lines. In the present case: the confidence of the population in the government (such as USA’s president) and an institute that both are expected to advise at an academic level (such as the Dutch RIVM), both indulging in liberties with their promulgation of guidelines on the use of face masks.

These four forms of panic (economic, constitutional, social and instrumental) naturally seek confrontation, but still have to pass collectively through the door behind which behavioral choices will have been made.