Containing Ebola Hysteria Will Be Tougher than Containing Ebola (and You Can Help)
Now that another Texas healthcare worker has contracted Ebola, and was allowed to fly commercial airlines before the diagnosis was made, health officials risk losing the public's trust.
Now that another Texas healthcare worker has contracted Ebola, and was allowed to fly commercial airlines before the diagnosis was made, health officials risk losing the public's trust. Psychologists say this is particularly dangerous since the threat of hysteria over Ebola is potentially much more threatening than the disease itself.
"'Officials will have to be very, very careful,' said Paul Slovic, president of Decision Research, a nonprofit that studies public health and perceptions of threat. 'Once trust starts to erode, the next time they tell you not to worry — you worry.'"
While the flu will sometimes kill upward of 30,000 people per year in the United States, which a simple flu shot could help alleviate, media attention has already focussed a great deal on the threat of Ebola, which remains near zero for all Americans. Still, when humans assess risk, they do so by balancing rational deduction with their emotional reaction. For reasons that have to do with biological evolution, the latter often trumps the former.
When it comes to risk assessment, author Eric Schlosser explains our unique calculations with respect to nuclear weapons:
Read more at the New York Times
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New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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