Nassim Taleb on Why It’s Better to Panic Early About the Coronavirus

Why should we take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19? It’s not for our sake but for the sake of other people. This is one of the main points of Taleb’s video. If we can slow the spread of this disease we can lesson the impact on vulnerable populations. Personally, I’m unlikely to die from COVID-19 but I could easily pass the virus on to an older person who might. It’s another “Not me. us.” moment.

The other important fact is that the death rate for a highly communicable disease is not static. If our hospital systems are overwhelmed we’ll see an exponential increase in the fatality rate.

The time is now, if you can, to halt travel, to avoid large groups and to get ready. As Taleb says, it would be better to error on the side of caution than to not take this threat seriously.

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4 Comments

  1. I completely agree. I think this is one of those times where the term “better safe than sorry” is very real. While I don’t think it’s time to go the route of South Korea or Italy yet, I do think that there’s not enough action being done in the states yet.

  2. I’ve organized my life in such a way as to not need to panic at all over much of anything. I keep a one year reserve pantry, have plenty of water set aside in tanks, a broad network of supportive friends and neighbors, enough cash set aside to ride out a storm… It doesn’t matter if the crisis du jour is a pandemic, an earthquake, unemployment… I know I’ve already done everything possible to manage. Beyond that it’s “las manos de dios.”

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