Yesterday evening, while being on a Netflix binge, which, I swear, doesn't happen often, I watched Contagion by Steven Soderbergh. It's a pandemic movie; it depicts pretty accurately how a virus can spread from one single place to the entire world in a matter of days. As a movie, it is not very good, it didn't "deliver" in my opinion. But, as a scientifically accurate tale of about the dangers of the modern world, I like it.
In it, people that have spread the virus didn't know about it until the first symptoms, which came around 3 to 4 days after infection. That fictional virus was much deadlier than what we're dealing with now: almost everyone who got it, died. Until a vaccine was discovered, it swept through the entire world leaving many bodies behind.
When such a pandemic happens, it is very, very important to act quickly. To isolate people, manufacture additional medical equipment, shut down travel, develop a vaccine etc. There is no time to be extra careful, you just have to act. And yes, for example, a quickly and not thoroughly tested vaccine can have side effects down the road. But what would you choose: 50% of the world's population dying right now, or 3% of the vaccinated having an increased risk of cancer in 15 years? I think the answer is simple.
It is human to be reluctant. I think, even, that reluctance is a good trait most of the time. But, as with almost everything, there's an exception. Once in a while, a situation when there will be no time for caution will arise. And we won't be able to predict it's coming. We'll just have to be vigilant.
Sometimes, we'll have to sprint, other times, a slow walk will be our best option. All we have to learn is to understand when should we switch speeds.