The corona projector, Prof. Roni Gamzo, presented his plan for treating the spread of the disease, known as “Magen Israel”. “We are no longer given restrictions that make no sense,” Gamzo promised in his opening remarks, adding, “I am in charge.” His words can be seen as a clear hint of the purpose of the appointment, a message that should tell the public – there is someone here who takes care of things, someone who can be trusted. responsible grown up.
This step could have been perceived as positive, if this position had teeth, but in the current state of affairs it seems that this appointment was made only ostensibly. So far it is not clear what the powers of the new projector will be and what issues he will be entrusted with. Apparently the decision makers think the public is so desperate that it will buy any story they are trying to sell it. But in the end It is a publicity stunt that has nothing to do with it. The government realized that it had to take a step to signal to the public that the situation was under control. That there is someone who takes responsibility for the situation.
During his speech, Prof. Gamzo noted that he would reduce the restrictions to a minimum, adding “any restriction that comes out will be clear and professional”, thereby in fact hinting at the government’s misconduct as reflected in the Corona crisis with changing morning guidelines, unrestricted data restrictions and errors in Subjects, which require many to go into isolation unnecessarily.
Prof. Gamzo went on to say: “We need to make a new contract between us and the citizens, there is a problem of undermining trust.” We saw the distrust that Gamzo was talking about when the owners of the restaurants and cafes decided on their own not to close the restaurants on weekends, contrary to the directive of the government.
The real goal behind Prof. Gamzo’s appointment is to restore public confidence in decision – makers, which has been eroded to the last minute. The damage caused by the conduct of decision-makers aimed at fighting the spread of the virus is greater than the benefit they bring. It is not the epidemic but the government policy that has led the public into a state of helplessness. Citizens, especially small and self-employed business owners, have learned that they cannot control their situation or take action to change it. The fact that no one knows what new limitation will emerge tomorrow or when things will get back on track disrupts the hormonal system and significantly increases the chances of getting depressed.
Instead of opening a new page, or as Gamzo said “a new contract” with the public, Decision makers have chosen the easiest way: create manipulation to calm the spirits. But this move could do the opposite and completely collapse public confidence in decision-makers.
Studies show that such steps, taken only ostensibly, just to create relaxation without having a thing and a half behind them, produce significantly negative feelings compared to a situation where they would not be done. Taking manipulative moves at such a sensitive time is the last thing the Israeli public needs. When the public gets the feeling that there is no responsible adult, one of two things can happen: passive behavior of paralysis, depression and helplessness, which may harm the national morale and productivity of the economy, or the public will decide to take the reins and be its master. It is currently unclear which option is better. It seems that if decision makers do not recover, the worst is yet to come.
If until today we thought we were only subject to the manipulations of corporations and companies that know us better than we know ourselves, and sell us products we do not only need to satisfy psychological needs such as a sense of belonging, self-worth, certainty and security – today we understand that we are subject to the same manipulations by leaders our.
The author is a researcher in behavior in the digital age, the IDC Herzliya