Fundamental attitudes can change in a nation over half a century, and the very different responses to this year’s coronavirus epidemic and the influenzas of 50 and 60 years ago suggests that people today are much more risk averse, much more willing to undergo massive inconvenience and disruption to avoid marginal increases in fatal risk.
In August 2017, after spending a night in the ER, a doctor came and told me I had a life-threatening condition and needed immediate surgery. My reaction was that I had none. He could just as well have told me it was cloudy out and there could be showers in the afternoon. Even I was surprised by my utter lack of affect, though obviously any feelings about the matter would have been beside the point. And i was certainly spared the worry. I just let the doctors get on with it and here I am. I don’t think any grand conclusion can be drawn from this. I may just be a borderline sociopath.