The Cycle of Outrage

Call it what you wish: divine intervention, coincidence, or dumb luck. But yesterday, as I was trying to hone in on what’s been bugging me, I opened Facebook and saw this.

A cartoon shows 9 people in a boat. One says, "people we have a hole in the floor", and everyone else has a different reaction. One says, "don't be negative". Another says, "I have a different point of view of the whole situation." etcetera

This is it. Exactly. Thank you Rachel for posting it. I only wish I could credit the artist but I don’t know who it is.

So much effort is spent on doing everything except fixing the hole. It’s going to sink the boat. But no, Everyone has to give their opinion instead of helping. This behavior can apply to a hole in a boat, a pandemic, global warming – whatever issue people are busier discussing and criticizing more than solving.

The only missing reactions to the boat’s hole is outright denial that there’s no hole at all, and blaming the guy who discovered the hole.

The Cycle Continues

I recently read a terrific piece that explains how predictable outrage is. Mark Manson┬áhas written a typically brilliant explanation about The Life Cycle of Outrage. It’s about the way people react to major events like, oh, maybe a pandemic.

Here’s what happens, in my analysis of Manson’s analysis: The event itself unfolds and advice from our leaders changes along with it. News spreads to us from so many sources in so many ways. Not everyone gets it at the same time. It’s not like we are all watching the same 3 TV stations or reading the same newspaper, like in days of old. These changes – to many – make the authorities appear to not know what the hell they are doing. Faith and trust erode. The whole thing snowballs. Finally, the authorities are blamed for everything including the event itself. Over and over and over until it makes historians want to weep.

With some exceptions and knowing their top priority is to stay in power, governments largely did what they thought was best for us. They made mistakes. The science changed and they changed. But someone had to be in charge and I’m darn glad it wasn’t me.

And so, as people complain and deflect, the hole in the boat hasn’t been repaired. The vessel is filling with water, and the outcome is not going to be pretty.

2 thoughts on “The Cycle of Outrage”

  1. Dead on. There are so many variants – BA.2 and soon BA.3 4 and 5 (the latter two are more in South Africa) plus Xe variant which is a nice combo of current local Omicron. To say it’s time to stop masking and checking is beyond craven and careless. It’s politically expedient and supposedly helpful to the economy but just how much work is getting done with people out sick? We are all tired. But giving up on trying to bail or fix the hole cannot in any world be the answer. Sigh.

    1. Yes. A friend was scheduled for heart surgery last Friday and at the last minute it was cancelled because of lack of beds in the ICU. We thought it was Covid patients occupying beds. Was speaking with a friend who is a nurse and she said it’s not Covid patients in the ICU causing these problems. It’s the fact that they are severely understaffed. They have the beds, but not the nurses to cover them. Perhaps if the mask mandate hadn’t been lifted, less people would be getting Covid, including nurses. And if the hospitals started saying that it’s staffing issues causing these cancellations and delays, people might get the message that maybe wearing masks and protecting themselves and their fellow citizens might be a good idea.

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