Why Are We So Afraid Of New?

Although “not everybody’s crazy for the zombie campaign,” Daigle thinks it’s getting people to think about emergency preparedness. “If zombies will get that message to them, we’re happy to use them.

This quote, taken from an altogether excellent article describing the history of CDC’s zombie preparedness campaign, bothers me. Not because of Mr. Daigle (he’s a rockstar in my estimation), but because of those he talks about.

“Not everybody’s crazy for the zombie campaign…”


Mr. Daigle and his team wrote a blog post that garnered more than 3 million page views and has spawned an entire outreach campaign. People are high-fiving the CDC all over the place and learning about what they need to get ready for any disaster. For eighty-seven dollars.

Tell me again, why isn’t everyone crazy about this?

Because it’s different? Because we’re staid? Because we don’t do things that way? Because it’s fun (or funny)? Because we’re not treating the subject with the proper respect?

Maybe the “not everybody” that Mr. Daigle is talking about hasn’t seen the state of public health these days, but things aren’t going so well. Many people think we’re boring, staid, overbearing, out of touch conspirators. Our funding is being slashed. Every. Single. Year. Our workforce is getting older and retiring and those positions aren’t being filled.

Heaven forbid we try something different.

So, here’s my request to you. Why are we, in public health specifically, but government generally, so afraid of “new?” We’re the last to pick up best practices, the last to see what industry and the public have been doing successfully for years, and even then delay implementation until we’ve “worked out all of the bugs.”

If you are that guy (or gal), let me know what you think. If you know of someone who is that gal (or guy), ask them and report back. I’d love to hear!


One thought on “Why Are We So Afraid Of New?

  1. Jim- just read the CDC Zombie preparedness graphic novel last evening. I’m drafting a review and will post in a few days, but as of now, my jury is still out on this. Recently revied an Biologic Facts app that included a section on Zombies…the app was well done but the zombie section was wasted space. The CDC graphic novel, however, seems to reach out to a culture/genaration that might otherwise remain oblivious to preparedness/public health. The CDC hit a homerun by making the attempt to bring this information out…like any other culture-specific public information. Rick Russotti

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