Inability (even intellectual) to reason beyond absolute numbers, based on proportions and fractions, so that it is difficult for many to make well-informed decisions with focus on the data they receive
of the surrounding reality. Just to give a hypothetical example, we see people boasting that a disease that kills 1,000 out of 5 million people who have infected, over 365 days of a year, is “far worse” than a disease that kills 100 out of 3,000 who have infected, over 10 days of a year – and still in the process of expansion, because it is recent and is being partially contained by several drastic measures
And people still swear that the latter represents no danger, look, it’s as “simple” as comparing a number here with another number there!
That’s the kind of reasoning that comes up with ideas about “flu” and “cold”.
A simple rule of three seems to be out of the reach of the analysis of many Brazilian citizens, even the well educated ones, which despairs me for imagining what can happen in other situations that also require such reasoning that are not limited to
How many wrong decisions
With the lack of data being replaced by voluntarism, casuism and emotional and ideological affinities, they must be taken every day in a country where many cannot even compare 3 or 4 variables with each other at the same time!
People making carts to protest, each isolated from the other, in the comfort and safety of the environment isolated from their cars with air conditioning, even carrying some posters with the sayings
all in order to protest for an end to broad social isolation
and defend that Brazil can, yes, prepare itself to avoid an explosion in the number of cases of the new coronavirus without the need for complete social isolation and distance. Such subtle demonstrations of cynicism even deserve our congratulations for their creativity.
While they take their rational precautions, they worry “too much about the misery and hunger that will surround the humble workers of this country who cannot stop”… How?
By ensuring that the streets, subways and buses that they will inevitably have to use (no good car with closed windows and air conditioning) will be far more crowded for everyone to go back to producing
and to generate and earn income, even at the expense of the health of the entire community, including themselves and their families. Propose significant increases in public spending, including temporary tax increases for the wealthiest, with greater ability to pay, as is done in very exceptional times of war? No way! Every Brazilian who takes care of himself, to support himself and to protect himself at the same time. What cannot be stopped is the economy… but, of course, it is all for the good of poor employees. They, the business owners, will stay more at home or circulating only straight from home to work in their cars well isolated only by
People thinking that to be in solidarity with the poorest workers and the poor or not poor in essential services is to join their burden with the breaking down of isolation
of the majority of the population, making it even a thousand times more foul. Thus, it is a populist, demagogue and pseudo-virtuous reasoning that proclaims that if some will have to continue working, because of their meager income, or because of their essential service to society to continue functioning, then the just and necessary is that all the others also remain in the same situation. They only forgot to ask the workers, such as delivery workers, garbage collectors, nursing technicians and employees of centers for the distribution of basic goods (such as food and medicine),
whether they will feel safer and more at ease having crowds exposing themselves to the same risks as them, only in much more dangerous agglomerations, or watching streets and means of transport much emptier
and more conducive to the realization of social distancing precautions.
People who say it’s either health, or economy, as if they were things that can be disassociated and, in particular, if there were not enormous economic damage and, no doubt, recession and panic at a much higher level than the current one if a pandemic spreads
to the point of causing collapse of the health system and generating noticeable defalcations in the labor market and in the affective life of the population itself. Furthermore, it seems that the people have no choice but to make a “choice of Sofia” between dying of hunger and running the risk of dying, killing (involuntarily) or being sequelated (yes, Covid-19 causes pulmonary fibrosis in several cases, which means that many of these recovered patients will never be the same, with even economic impacts on their labor productivity).
In this context, it is important to stress that the State’s involvement in the economy and society is justified and legitimate in order to avoid major disasters.
They are thinking so much about the economy, about the health that it will inevitably be shaken by the economy, because the health of the people will also be going badly, that
they end up forgetting that the catastrophe of a state omitting itself at the decisive moment of a society’s crisis ends up creating a much deeper and longer-lasting crisis only a little more delayed
. The most curious thing is to see
to Boris Johnson and Donald Trump taking measures of high expansion of social policy and fostering activity
to companies by the State, even at the expense of fiscal responsibility, and similar measures here, even if much less ambitious, are described as a left-wing delirium.
Disdain for the lives of older people and even people with many years to live, but with some disease that makes them more vulnerable.
Only today have I seen comments such as
(ih, it was not just anyone’s comment, it was the President of the Republic himself!) and
(because of course that makes a lot of difference, doesn’t it? We don’t even think about how many hypertensive people, heart patients, diabetics, autoimmune disease carriers and other individuals with diseases that make them part of the risk groups
we come across every day, people, even very productive and full of life!).