Reaction to Panic – More Panic!


And that is how we react to panic… common sense which anyways is uncommon, goes missing completely.

So am in flu capital of India and as I look around…  I wonder if we are really supposed to be the most intelligent species.

Our first reaction to any adverse situation is… hyperventilate! and pull out all stops to panic..

I see so many people wearing masks. Now it has clearly been mentioned in all communication regarding H1N1 (Swine flu for those who don’t understand still) virus that only the people who have the infection or who have cough or cold should wear the mask and yet the sales for these rather ineffective masks are going through the roof in Pune. It is as if the whole population is suffering from flu… Of course the business side is that the more the panic, more the sales for the opportunistic suppliers of these masks! These masks have probably become a security blanket.. a la Linus from the cartoon strip Charlie Brown.

But this is just one situation that made me wonder about panic and I realised that this is perhaps the most common first reaction…

You see it everywhere… stock market… marketing… sales… health… exams.. jobs…

Brand sales drop for a period and suddenly everyone in the organization is trying to address the situation. And oh.. the reaction is not one of sanity… the whole heirarchy is waiting for the sky to fall (remember the village leader from Asterix comics?)

Lehmann Brothers collapsed… I don’t even have to mention what happened to the world economy…

The kid gets less than average marks in one of the class test… and his life turns into hell at home…

One year of less rainfall and the government is in panic mode (refer to Mr Manmohan Singh getting the country ready for tough situation ahead!) Do we as a country don’t have enough reserves to get over one bad mansoon? Are we so dependent on agriculture even now?? Or is it just the government’s way of preparing us for some fresh taxes or surcharges that it intends to impose on us?

And the less said about the way banks have been behaving regarding loans and credits, the better it is… it is as if the whole population that has taken loan or has credit cards is going to run away with the money…

Why are we always prophets of doom? I could have pointed to the genetic code if it was one race or one country… but panic is universal. Are we so much in doubt about our abilities that the only reaction we can think of is the P word?

But I guess the way misery loves company… Panic does too…

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