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An American scientist announces that the world will end, or at least such a huge part of the continent will be destroyed, in such a way, that death will be a certain fate for hundreds of millions of people. If this information was confirmed, what do you think would be the effect on the people between the time they acquired this information and the certain cataclysm? Finally, as far as you're concerned, what would they do in their last hours?
Under normal circumstances, I think the scientist would be ignored. People would write it off as a prank, or a social experiment.
If, however, he is somehow able to provide irrefutable evidence that this will happen. I think there would be a lot of panic, chaos as people try to flee the doomed areas. Violence would probably break out, in my opinion, as the roadways and airports became overwhelmed. Some people would probably try to avoid all the conflict, stay inside with loved ones.
My actions would depend on whether or not I lived in one of the affect areas. If I did, I would probably try to escape like everyone else, and probably not be very successful. I might consider leaving on foot and walking away from the affected area as far as I could under my own power, but it's unlikely I would get far. If the time frame is a matter of hours, I would probably be better off staying in and preparing a nice final meal. But who knows if my survival instincts would allow me to do that.
If I did NOT live in one of the affect areas, I would stay inside. I would try to keep updated on the situation, and I would prepare to travel to the affect areas and provide aid once the cataclysm and subsequent chaos had subsided.
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So, we're saying, like, the Yellowstone Volcano is going to blow in two hours, and somehow I am certain of this and I will probably die.
Effect on people: denial. Maybe panic. It's not enough time to process something that big.
Effect on me: I'd try to call family. I probably wouldn't get through because the lines would be overloaded. Hate to say this, but I might actually go to work. Not to work, but just to be with people I know. (Wow. I need a life.)
So there was this one time where there was a real fear of nuclear meltdown happening within range of us, and if it happened (which it looked like it was going to), there wouldn't be enough time to evacuate.
I did panic. I called my grandpa and begged him to come down to CA because he was living close to it. He, being much older and wiser, assured me that nothing bad was going to happen and it was simply news using fear mongering. I didn't believe him, and when we got off the phone I cried because I truly believed he was going to die.
Then, me and my partner started discussing plans because we feared other people panicking, and if they did, they might start rioting and causing destruction. So we went to his grandpas house, and his grandpa, who was a gun club member, comforted him by making a plan with him to defend the property should anyone try to harm us.
That night me and my partner cuddled and just talked almost all night and told each other how much we loved each other.
Fast forward a time and nothing happened, but at the time it was terrifying. But coming together with family and having a plan for if shit completely hit the fan, was very reassuring to me and calmed me down. It didn't completely kill the fear, but it helped immensely, and looking back on it, I'm kind of glad I know how I would react in that situation now, and that I have friends and family who are willing to come together and stay calm.