When I first went to Japan, I saw people walking around the streets of Tokyo with a face mask on.
It was as if it wasn’t such a big deal.
There were too many to be counted among the crowds.
We were taken by surprise.
When I asked, "Why do they walk around with a mask?", As an "imaginary" precaution came the answer.
It was an instinct that forced people to roam the streets wearing a face mask.
Although there was no evidence stating that it would be beneficial to wear any type of mask, they do it all the same thinking that the city they lived in might have been contaminated.
For residents of cities such as Tokyo, Paris, London, Berlin where even under normal circumstances there’s little discipline regarding morbidity, even the slightest thing can turn into a nightmare.
A few years ago, I’m sure you all saw the news about some wealthy people in America who had built shelters using thousands of tons of concrete in case of a nuclear war.
They have probably already isolated themselves.
In fact, it all starts with the decline in psyche.
Individual psyches evolve into collective psyches. Collective psyches affect the mood of politicians and the countries’ rulers.
Then everyone suddenly finds themselves in an open air madhouse.
A friend of mine in Germany said:
No one in the world is as pessimistic as the Germans.
Looking at everything in life starting from the “worst case scenario”, we come across Chancellor Merkel's statement that “60 to 70 percent of the population could contract coronavirus”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went even further.
''This is the worst crisis of a generation. Some people compare this to the seasonal flu, but unfortunately this is not true. This disease Coronavirus is much more dangerous and will spread even more than known. Many more families will lose their loved ones prematurely, " he said.
Lydian King Kroisos said, "In times of peace, sons bury their fathers, and in times of war, fathers bury their sons."
If we adapt the words of the British Prime Minister to this, we will have to say, "In times of peace, sons bury their fathers, and in times of pandemic, fathers bury their sons."
Fine line between caution and hysteria
How accurate can such statements, which are obviously made to prepare communities for a worst case scenario, be?
Do such measures actually work or do they just add to the atmosphere of panic and make it worse?
To each their own I guess.
But in any case, I find our authorities' way of dealing with this emergency much more balanced and much more level-headed.
Today, we’re more aware that the Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca and his team were more prepared than everyone else with regards to COVID-19 and did their job well.
will realize the seriousness of the outbreak in the first place, science channel formed committees to use the widest consultation of the man, as far as possible the delay of the outbreak from reaching the territory of Turkey to avoid radical measures if necessary.
At such times, not only the decisions taken, the attitudes adopted, but also the balanced words chosen when communicating with society are paramount.
In the statements made, we see that this balance is also skillfully achieved.
I'm actually talking about a good communication strategy.
For example, news that the novel virus reached Turkey broke out at an unlikely hour (at 00:30) with a scheduled press conference, which is a sign of just how much it has been taken seriously.
One would not be remiss to characterize Minister Koca's announcement of the first COVID-19 case by saying it was “a sad but not frightening news” as walking a fine line between being cautious and attempting not to cause mass panic.
I would also like to note the attitude adopted by the Ministry of Health vis-a-vis those who think “the virus is already there but there’s a cover-up.”
Minister Koca upon announcing that night the first case of COVID-19, said there’s a very high probability that Turkey will record other cases.
He convincingly showed that there is no "intention to keep information from the public."
Afterwards, the decision not to disclose the province where the first coronavirus patient is located can be considered a byproduct of a smart communications strategy.
It is said that disclosing the cities where the coronavirus is present in Italy is not helping containing it rather it is actually spreading it.
Crisis management can be successfully implemented by using the right approaches at the right time, by discussing every topic, through a common sense approach and making decisions for the sake of the common good.
Let us hope that this outbreak, which has rattled the world will be pass “lightly” by our country.
Let us hope that Merkel and Johnson’s “doom mongering” warnings don’t reach such a scale in their own countries.