Magical Thinking in Crises

There is so much magical thinking1The false belief that one’s thoughts, actions, or words will cause or prevent a specific consequence in some way that defies commonly understood laws of causality. in crises, where intelligent adults do things that make no sense. For example, people seemingly think that by changing zip codes, or by avoiding certain nationalities, they are temporarily relieved from having to take appropriate care2This is a larger-scale version of what ER doctors report when young males go to college for the first time. They think that by changing locales they have become invulnerable, so they show up in predictable September waves of “Hold My Beer” injuries in their local ER. during a global miasma. It’s all the same swimming pool of risk, only the local urine concentration varies from moment to moment.