Always pure reason?
I would say that I'm a reasonable person - at least most of the time: I wear a helmet when I cycle to work. If I drink alcohol at a party, I don't drive afterwards. I don't smoke, eat little meat, do sport (but not too much) and usually make sure I have a good work-life balance, as the saying goes today. And not only in times of Covid-19 do I stay at home when I feel sick.
But I can't say that I've been sensible my whole life. Despite bronchitis in the smoky discotheque, excessive partying during your student days or risky climbs without protection on glacier moraines and rocks on research excursions - all this shows that reason is above all a question of life experience. However, age does not always protect against unreasonableness: one only has to look at the vaccination rates against flu, which are far from desirable figures even among risk groups.
In our cover story starting on page 12, my colleague Steve Ayan presents five basic rules with which we can promote our rational thinking and thus help common sense to break through. One of them concerns the media: you, dear readers, place your trust in us because you are reading this issue, which we hope to fully justify with our factual reporting. This criterion may help you decide which other mediums to rely on: "Alarmism, finger pointing, and self-praise are traits of those who are less particular about objectivity," writes Ayan. A look into the echo chambers of social media confirms the assessment, especially in times as excited as these.
The most important tip is therefore to keep calm: Panic has always been a bad advisor - whether it's dealing with new viruses, climate change or "just" your own child's bad grades in school. On the other hand, it would be rational to wash your hands regularly, drive less, reduce meat consumption and talk objectively with the youngsters about specific problems at school, and then tackle them in a targeted manner.
In this sense: stay reasonable and don't let the general excitement catch you!