Crisis fatigue

Leave it to us
Image courtesy of St. Andrews University

Now that the Christmas / New Year hiatus is over I suspect it’ll be back to business as usual. Every month we will have a crisis summit with “48 hours to save the world economy from meltdown”¬†followed by some EuroApparatchik / functionary making one of those “Yesterday we stood on the brink of an abyss … today we took a great leap forward” speeches, and the markets will rally, then figure out that nothing has changed and start panicking again. These panics will be over-reported by people who don’t really know what they are talking about, who will then interview each other a lot, and then present us with a patronising summary as if this was something we asked for in the first place.

I always wondered why some people got so excitable / angry in the “Phoney War” period in 1939, seemingly impatient for the blood letting to start, after all later rather than sooner would have been my choice. I am beginning to see their point of view now.

We know the likely outcomes and whichever occurs we know that a lot of people are going to face considerable disruption and loss. We know that at the end, if we can ever determine an end, we in the west will be poorer and our children will have poorer prospects than we had. We also know that it is a situation in which we, the ordinary people, are mostly helpless and unable / unasked to contribute. This must have been rather what people felt in 1939, let’s set to it, get it over with, see what we’ve got left, and get to work on rebuilding.

They must also have felt the same sense of guilt in wishing hardships and worse on so many (As well, perhaps, as themselves).

For my own part I have a made a new year’s resolution to only allow myself to be properly panicked once per month from now on, after all if they won’t let me help, I’m not joining in.