Playing blunderball

May 25, 2021

First, the massive Evergreen cargo ship Ever Given ran aground, blocking the Suez Canal and raising hackles about the disastrous effects on the global supply chain – especially during the pandemic.

A month later, Egyptian authorities impounded the ship, demanding some $900 million in restitution for the imbroglio and for removing the seafaring clot.

What’s noteworthy? Heavy-laden Ever Given still hadn’t left the Suez Canal.

The popular comic strip “Family Circus” includes a ghostly character named “Not Me” who is blamed by the kids for just about anything. You know the drill. “Who broke that vase?” Mom asks. “Not me,” the kids reply.

We have our own emotional excuse on which to fall for our lack of foresight, planning and preparation. This character’s name? “Like Nothing We Have Seen.” This convenient crutch simply justifies all our initial shock, myopia and resolute apathy against preparing as many contingencies as possible, no matter how seemingly outlandish or unrealistic.

Here are some contextually relevant and paraphrased examples from actual news reports during the last year or so. Simply read each statement below, and then after the “to-be” verbs “is/was” or “are/were” you insert the trite excuse, “Like Nothing We have Seen.” Follow the pattern.

“The COVID-19 virus/pandemic is … [insert trite phrase here].”

“The violent protests at the Capitol were …”

“The recent snowstorm in Texas was …”

“The demand on the power grid in Texas was …”

“The amount of absentee and mail-in voting ballots in the November 2020 election was …”

“The protests – both peaceful and violent – about police brutality were …”

“The instances of police brutality were …”

“The line at/waiting list for the mass vaccination center was …”

You get the idea.

Maybe it’s high time we open our eyes and prepare for as many of those situations “like nothing we have seen?”

We’re quick to accept and enjoy the “fictional” Hollywood characters and plots in reel life, so why does what’s happening in real life seem so unbelievable that we regularly are caught by surprise?

If the last year or two taught us anything, it is that we fail to prepare at our own peril.

About the Author

Rick Dana Barlow | Senior Editor

Rick Dana Barlow is Senior Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News, an Endeavor Business Media publication. He can be reached at [email protected].