Does a term or expression exist for the phenomenon where a person treats unclear future risk as non-important? As in:

I will ignore the coronavirus threat because I'm unlikely to contract it or get severely ill.

I will eat unhealthy because whether or not I will get ill is unclear.

  • Do you require a label for the phenomenon, or will descriptions of people exemplifying it ('irresponsible', 'devil-may-care', 'feckless', 'imprudent', 'incautious', 'uncircumspect', 'foolhardy' + other synonyms) do? 'Shortsighted' and 'blinkered' are also possibilities. Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 11:44
  • It's likely that the answers here will be almost exactly those at the Is there a single word for doing something despite the fact that it might cause problems later? thread, though the question is very slightly different. Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 11:49
  • ...apart from "being very young"? Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 12:33
  • @EdwinAshworth good observation, speficially interested whether a good word exists for the phenomenom itself, not the descriptions concerning people.
    – waihtis
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 13:16
  • You probably need to stress the 'about a possible future catastrophe', and even refine it to 'about a possible future catastrophe that many are saying is a very grave risk', or you'll end up with 'imprudence' or 'incaution' ('[noun]: failure to heed potential problems or risks': Lexico). Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


They are happy-go-lucky, and possibly short-lived.

Cambridge Dictionary: Happy-go-lucky

A happy-go-lucky person does not plan much and accepts what happens without becoming worried.


That can be defined as reckless behavior.

Merriam Webster defines it as:

marked by lack of proper caution : careless of consequences

  • One could describe someone who does not worry about an 'unclear future risk' as merely 'confident'. Reckless people flout clear, present risks. Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:35
  • @MichaelHarvey - I completely agree. An astronaut might completely ignore it and be perfectly reasonable. OP’s examples are not consistent, but I tried to answer in the spirit in which I believe the question was asked.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:41
  • The OP's examples are, indeed, not consistent, either with the 'spirit' of the question, or with each other. Coronavirus is a clear, present, proven risk, and the matter of whether some food is 'unhealthy' is to some extent a matter of opinion. I believe a close vote is needed. Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:51

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