We have a staff member who is deathly afraid of bats, and we give him a lot of ribbing about it.
But apparently bats are no laughing matter.
My sister is undergoing a series of shots in preparation for a trip, and received rabies shots as part of the visa requirements. They may serve her well in the States too, as it is now recommended that if you see a bat in your house, you head in for rabies shots.
Bats bite so lightly that you may not know you have been bitten, and if the bat is carrying rabies or the bat disease lyssavirus, the result without treatment is fatal. The bite or scratch may be so insignificant that you failed to notice it, but once the symptoms appear, death is eminent. Especially if a bat is seen after you have been sleeping, it is time to run to the doctor, instead of just running away from the bat.
Rarely are there protocols that are so one sided: mortality from rabies without treatment = 99%; treatment with little or no delay = 100% effective.
Bats can be a lesson that even the little things — or something that is almost invisible — can have a large and significant impact. Are there metaphorical bats “biting” people in your organization — creating fissures in the culture or harming the fiscal health in ways that are so insignificant that they aren’t noticed?
Think of your equivalent of “rabies shots” that you can administer today instead of waiting for the untreatable symptoms to appear.
Source: en.m.wikipedia.org: “Rabies”