As the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic stares us in the face, it may be opportune to consider some scenarios ahead, especially in light of lessons from other, similar outbreaks in recent decades.
The first problem is sporadic bursts of public concern, alternating with periods of denial. Managing both requires measured doses of reliable information from authoritative sources. Such measurement is a delicate art at the best of times. During a crisis, media hype can mutate it easily into mass misinformation.
Similarly, the threat of terrorism has close parallels with each of the above aspects.