“It turned out to be nothing.”

Under some circumstances, “nothing” may be seen as a failure. But in a virus situation, “nothing” is the best that can be hoped for. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone practiced social distancing, washed their hands and there wasn’t a big healthcare scare?

When Y2K happened, there was a flurry of precautions in the preceding months and it turned out to be a non-event. Hurrah! There were concerns about security at the last Olympics and no terrorist attack occurred. Yippee! But these successes make too many people complacent, thinking that the next impending crisis is all hype and should be ignored.

When it comes to things like a pandemic response, election security and natural disasters, the best possible outcome is that the predictions were overblown. However, except in cases where the blizzard is forecast and dissipates without precipitation, most averted problems are caused by multitudes of professionals working tirelessly behind the scenes and individuals doing their part to mitigate the negative impact.

We need to realign our definition of success to include “nothing” as the ultimate goal. And that’s where we are now. Stay home as much as you can in the coming days/weeks and hope that you’re fortunate enough that “nothing” happens because of it.

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