Particularly around holiday seasons across the whole year we observe the “emergencification” in modern societies. This not so new trend consists in the strategy to artificially create emergency situations in which it is considered reasonable to ask for higher prices. It appears to be just another kind of a “greedflation”, whereby extra profits can be reaped due to shortages of food or particular forms of energy. Medical services have also pushed for an emergencification of their services due to ever longer waiting queues for appointments and treatments. The strategy here is easily disclosed. (1) You decline any appointment earlier for inspection of cars, heating systems, office equipment or medical check-ups and sooner or later a “planned” emergency will arise, which allows you to charge higher prices than the routine in time appointment or treatment. This makes prevention of more costly interventions far more difficult. In sum, the costs to society as a whole rise by the simple way of emergencification.
Even using a repair platform, we did not receive a single offer for a more lengthy and costly repair of my 10+ year old car. Hence, we just wait for a breakdown with more serious and costly consequences. Unfortunately, the same holds true for many medical services. If you no longer manage to assure a timely consultation you are more likely to go directly to the emergency services of a hospital. This is then the costly, but only alternative left to you. In the artificially created emergency you have little room for negotiation and a choice of different offers and conditions. It is a shift in negotiation powers to the service provider. The emergencification creates a price inflation of a specific kind. Worryingly, this kind of inflation is well beyond the normal statistical measurement of inflation national statistical offices observe. In addition to the much debated “greedflation” we should deal with the emergencification as an additional price mechanism. Just ask about examples among your friends or in the neighourhood whether they have lived through an example of emergencification. The stories are abundant and full of surprises. The example I heard: “birth and death, both come as a surprise or emergency, and yet we have the whole life to prepare the latter one”. Part of image taken from “Loriot “on the pleasures of driving (2022. Subtitle:” I suppose the screen wipers caused the trouble”.


2 Pinot 2 Riesling. That could be the long version of 2P2R. However, this far from (politically) correct. The not-joking scientific medical journal “The Lancet” (Vol.401 Nr 10391) has next to the article on “Laughter is the best medicine” coping with trauma, the serious matter of how best to deal with pandemics. Remember 2P2R as the important lesson from the pandemic. Prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery (2P2R) are key. And don’t forget about primary health care or essential (medical and other) workers. This is, in short, the message from Arush Lal and Nina Schwalbe (Paper Link). Lots of social topics involved in this correspondence from the authors. Prevention is a big issue and, as in the health system, fighting continuously for sufficient resources. Prevention is in most cases less costly than curing a disease. Preparedness has direct costs. Masks and ventilators need to be produced, stored and monitored in their functionalities. Response has to be immediate, masks in China a important but do not allow us to respond fast to local emergencies. Recovery can be long and costly as well, just as we learn from Long-COVID patients.
Now we need to define properly what is included in primary health care. Medical doctors, nurses and technicians of hospitals have to reach patients and hospitals in pandemics or need child care, food etc. and, maybe, also laughter to avoid trauma. Remember 2P2R, but best in company with your loved ones, but not on your own.

Repair 3

Repair is our new mantra. Think of repairing in all domains as of now. Nature is showing us the way how to repair in many ways. Culture is also embracing the shift towards repairing as caring. If we really care about our planet, and there is no planet B, we shall have to repair in many more domains. We are used to repair bicycles, cars, roofs, windows etc. Repairing is never boring. You can improve the performance of a device or building by repairing it, even with relatively small budgets. Isolation of buildings is a good example of investing in upgrades through repairing. Rather than throwing away a functioning heating system repairing it with an energy saving device is enhancing its performance and produces fewer emissions in the short run. Heat pumps are the way forward for new installations. Shifting a sector, heating with gaz, to ensure longer lasting repair and improve options would save a lot of raw materials and CO2 as well. The construction sector has repair work almosts in its DNA, the energy sector will have to make that shift as well. Dare to repair.

Repair 2

Ever since the visit to the exhibition “Care, Repair, Heal” at the Martin Gropiusbau in Berlin the image of flying protheses rests with me. Repairing the human body is feasible in many fantastic ways. The inner wounds, however, are less visible and sometimes hurting even more. In recognition of the thousands of victims again in the Russian war on Ukraine’s territory and the atrocities causes by mines to injure humans, we have to assist in caring, repairing and healing. This has not changed since the Great War or the Nazi-induced mass murder and mutilations. Humanity is unable to bann such landmines despite international conventions trying to achieve this.
The strong image produced by the protheses as clouds in the sky (Kadar Attia) remind us of the lasting effects of war. Images we had associated with the mutilated soldiers and civilians of the 2nd world war, many still around us in the 60s or 70s, are coming back to Europe. Writing about the 20th century, Aurélien Bellanger described in words a similar traumatising vision of flying protheses in his story of the lonely poet and philosopher. We cannot repair history, but we can work towards reducing useless additional suffering. It is part of the absurdities of our world that technology has created masterpieces to assist us and reduce suffering, but at the same time technology is applied to create the worst suffering as well. Rather than thinking of this relationship as 2 sides of the same coin, I prefer to hope for dialectic evolution towards a better synthesis solution using enforceable international law. Yes, I still have a dream! …

R for Repairing

Without noticing for many people, we have shifted into the repair mode. Our planet needs repair work. Well beyond the less plastic, CO2, less oil, gaz and pollution in general, we have to actively repair what we have damaged, certainly since the industrial revolution. With nuclear waste we have entered into a phase, in which repairing is not really feasible. Areas around Tschernobyl and Fukushima speak for themselves. However, we seem to leave the repairing to future generations. Whereas for us currently it is an option, later on it will be an obligation.
The bionic interest has already turned to the Axolotl and Polycarpa mytiligera. Both species can repair themselves after the loss or a malfunctioning part of their body. Rather than producing externally, growing the spare part is a promising healing device. Nature provides many fabulous insights, if we were able to preserve the biodiversity. Repairing biodiversity is difficult, impossible for lost species which we do not even really know. Start to repair and build awareness that repairing can be fun. Beyond the gender stereotypes, women repair cars, men repair clothes, we have to learn from each other how to use our repair knowledge for many other things and devices. This applies even to our social, legal and economic systems.
In addition to reimagining, we need repairing everywhere. I have lots of stuff to repair at home. When do you start repairing? Welcome to the next trend: the joy to repair, repairs even joy.