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What if?

Dec 20,2018 - Last updated at Dec 20,2018

The unfortunate incident that came to be known as the “Dead Sea tragedy”, in which innocent lives were lost due essentially to flashfloods, has received a lot of attention in terms both of inquiry as to what has actually happened, and in terms of lessons learned.

More than three high-ranking committees were formed to investigate the matter, in addition to the judicial process which was promptly and speedily triggered.

And this is good, as we need to know what has actually happened, who is responsible and what should be done to avert similar future disasters.

Since closure at several levels has not happened yet, however, it is important to address an important dimension of the incident that has not been tackled yet, namely, its effect on institutions where trips are an essential part of their work.

The panic, confusion and fear that accompanied and followed the incident have had a negative impact on these said institutions, where many of them have started, since the incident, cancelling trips the minute a word is mentioned in the weather forecast about a cold front and the minute a cloud appears in the sky.

The magnitude of this problem is by no means small. There are many institutions, universities and others, in which trips happen on a daily basis: For training, for internships, for excavations, for projects and for many other important reasons.

In addition to the cancellation of several trips, which all of a sudden are deemed “not essential”, a lot of fear and panic has started to hit those both closely and remotely connected to trips. In some cases, it is a state of paranoia.

Clearly, those involved fear for the lives of those who take part in these trips, but they also fear to shoulder responsibility, especially since there are no clear-cut by-laws and regulations governing those trips and pinpointing responsibility very precisely.

And it is not just the weather that is scaring people. What if a mechanical failure happens to the bus, what if there is a fatal accident, what if there is a terrorist attack, what if, what if?

While some of these institutions are trying to come to terms with a challenge that has taken many by surprise, and doing their best to review regulations and safety measures, others are in a state of utter confusion.

For this reason, some kind of official, expert intervention is needed to advise these institutions as to what to do under the circumstances.

We cannot suspend so many of these important activities, for education or even for recreation, just  because a tragic accident happened, just because it caught many of our institutions and officials unprepared and just because many have overreacted and caused a counter, negative effect.

It is a mistake to leave the concerned institutions left in the lurch, grappling with an uncertainty and a fear, the like of which they have never experienced before.

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