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Chaos at the Intersection of Crisis and Health: Navigating the Paradox of Communicating Certainty in Uncertain Times by Dr. Timothy L. Sellnow
By their nature, crises are shocking, threaten lives and livelihoods, and create enervating uncertainty. Regardless of crisis type, anxious publics demand explicit answers to questions about how to best protect themselves and their loved ones from the looming threat. Paradoxically, the more uncertainty the crisis evokes, the more publics’ demand certainty. When, as is painfully often, crises become politicized, uncertainty is further intensified by conspiracy theories, personal attacks, and denial of compelling evidence. This presentation views the paradox of certainty in uncertain times from the perspective of chaos theory. In doing so, the problem is clarified and recommendations for navigating this paradox are provided.


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