"And while the thrust of government policies is directed to ameliorating the economic and financial damage from the pandemic, the virus makes the timeline."
- & Dr. Anthony Fauci, 1940 – present, American physician and immunologist, member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force
Coronavirus: A Test of Our Resolve
Long before investor and mathematician Nassim Taleb popularized the concept in his best-selling 2007 book
'The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable', a 'black swan' was a common figure of speech for a highly improbable or unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected.
For instance, 'The Ladies Dictionary', the first reference book published in England in 1694 with women as its principal target audience, cynically mentions 'husbands without faults (if such black swans there be).' For centuries, most people in the Western World held an unassailable belief that all swans were white. It was a generalization based on empirical evidence, because no one had ever observed a swan that wasn't white. That quickly changed when Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered large numbers of black swans in southwestern Australia in 1697.