Common sense in a pandemic

How good is our common sense?

Common sense would tell us that air rushing under the wings of a plane would keep it aloft. (You actually need wind flowing quickly over the wings.)

Common sense told a King who owed a debt for losing at chess that this would be a modest payout for losing: 1 grain of rice on the first square of the chessboard, 2 grains on the second, 4 on the next, and so until the board was covered. (The last square alone would contain more than 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 grains, amounting to over 210 billion tons.)

And when you are told that lily pads are taking over a pond in the same 1-2-4-8 … fashion, common sense suggests that if the pond is completely covered in 48 days, then it becomes half full on day 24 (rather than day 47, which is when it really would occur).

And when people in developing countries are told to wash with soap because of germs, common sense tells them that’s not necessary because they can’t even see those germs.

So, when I stumbled upon a Facebook post saying, “Use some use common sense — just re-open the economy,” I was glad we have experts who don’t listen to common sense.

Common sense would suggest we should listen to them.


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