As the U.S. heads toward the winter, the country is going round in circles, making the same conceptual errors that have plagued it since spring.
Full story of excerpts below at Source: >America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral – The Atlantic
“Army ants will sometimes walk in circles until they die. The workers navigate by smelling the pheromone trails of workers in front of them, while laying down pheromones for others to follow. If these trails accidentally loop back on themselves, the ants are trapped. They become a thick, swirling vortex of bodies that resembles a hurricane as viewed from space. They march endlessly until they’re felled by exhaustion or dehydration. The ants can sense no picture bigger than what’s immediately ahead. They have no coordinating force to guide them to safety. They are imprisoned by a wall of their own instincts. This phenomenon is called the death spiral. I can think of no better metaphor for the United States of America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many Americans trusted intuition to help guide them through this disaster. They grabbed onto whatever solution was most prominent in the moment, and bounced from one (often false) hope to the next. They saw the actions that individual people were taking, and blamed and shamed their neighbors. They lapsed into magical thinking, and believed that the world would return to normal within months. Following these impulses was simpler than navigating a web of solutions, staring down broken systems, and accepting that the pandemic would rage for at least a year.
“The country is now trapped in an intuition nightmare: Like the spiraling ants, Americans are walled in by their own unhelpful instincts, which lead them round and round in self-destructive circles. ..Here, then, are nine errors of intuition that still hamstring the U.S. pandemic response, and a glimpse at the future if they continue unchecked.
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