Expertise is powerful and many of us consider ourselves as experts in one field or another. Many of us would agree that there’s a big difference between how experts think and the rest of us think. After years of study and research, professionals have a grasp of their field that is global as well as specific. Specialists are just that – they live and breathe their expertise. And when they become involved with the general public as in being a keynote speaker, the gap between professionalism and common knowledge becomes apparent. This is what’s happening in our present day coronavirus – scientists and us. Can we work together?
To put it succinctly, experts think and reason differently from non-experts. Abstraction seems to be replaced by perception; they possess meaningful patterns of information and have superior recall ability, for they are able to chunk together a hierarchical organized structure of their area of expertise due to sensitivity to patterns of meaningful information.
Our present struggle with covid-19 is an excellent example of expertise versus non-expertise. Today’s coronavirus is a very complicated disease, new to the experts and mind blogging to us non-experts. The scientists are trying to explain what this disease is all about and they are asking us to help them with the directive of their plan to slow and stop the spread by our staying home and guarding our distance from others.
The experts, for all their years of study, are not sure if victims of the virus become immune, and if so, how long it will last. It seems that once cured of the virus, the recovered patient can get it again. With all this uncertainty, science is not sure at this point if they can find a vaccine for coronavirus, especially if immunity doesn’t result after the contagion. Bottom line: Covid-19 is very new, making the experts still studying all the angles of the epidemic. They need our help by our staying put.
However, we non-experts get impatient; we want to get out and get back to “normal”. But there is no “normal”. Our world has been turned upside down with a lot of volatility, uncertainty, chaos, and ambiguity. We non-experts don’t understand the science that is involved in all of this and unfortunately, because of the lack of understanding, we want to make some decisions on our own.
The gap between what experts know and don’t know and what non-experts understand or don’t understand about this disease is ever widening so that at this juncture in our dealing with the coronavirus, there remains a lot of guessing, worrying, and real hesitation. We want to trust the scientists but we still want control of our lives.
There is no doubt most people are experiencing quarantine fatigue, but here’s some advice from Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the U.K. who recently returned to work after a bout with Covid-19:
By ASSOCIATED PRESS – LONDON – APRIL 27, 2020 – 5:57 AM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged his lockdown-weary nation to be patient, saying Monday that easing social and economic restrictions too soon would create a second deadly spike of coronavirus infections.
The experts will let us know what steps we will tentatively try while they watch the movements of Covid-19. The warning that there will be another spike in the fall is still real and our scientists are preparing for that event. Let us trust the experts who seem to be learning as they struggle through the next months while we do our best to take care of ourselves as the prime means of fighting the coronavirus.