Tweeted On: July 12, 2020, 9:43 p.m.
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1/ It seems important to remember that nearly all U.S. officials (that I saw) early on downplayed the risk of the novel coronavirus in the U.S., and nearly all of us believed the same in December and January: Very little to no risk.
2/ Those who saw a lack of risk to the U.S. were speaking from experience. In recent decades, past novel viral outbreaks around the world — HIV aside — did not land with force in the U.S. And, of course, the last respiratory-related pandemic ended 100 years ago.
3/ As COVID-19 began to spread beyond its origins, those who saw little risk to the rest of the world were speaking confidently from experience. But what does experience also mean? It equally means that they were speaking from *inexperience.*
4/ No one alive today remembers experiencing a respiratory pandemic, so even in January, most of us disbelieved the possibility of one taking hold (biologists aside). We believed our past experience over what we had not experienced.
5/ This presents risk: An experience can’t happen without concurrent inexperience (or non-experience). You have only experienced certain outcomes at the omission of all those you have not. You readily believe in the outcomes you have experienced, and not in the ones you haven't.
6/ Each experience you have, good or bad, was just one outcome of thousands of possibilities. Next time may go differently. That’s true for investing, true for a road trip, true for relationships, true for each day. Remembering this, each experience deserves your full attention.
7/ The world didn't expect a pandemic in 2020. Now, like after 9/11, the world will be on high alert for others for years to come — for better or worse. Society as a whole responds to experiences, too, of course, but given its size, it’s a drawn-out response, behind the curve.
8/ Phones booths were still being installed after smart phones emerged.
9/9 An individual is the ultimately-adaptable entity. You can change your approach to life in one day, if you want to. But you will have a hard time doing so in ways that aren't based on your past experiences. Now we have one more large experience to evolve into our thinking.
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