When I worked in athletic training there were injuries that were obviously acute--meaning they had occurred as a result of immediate trauma on the playing field. This could be a broken bone, a serious contusion, or a flesh wound. While sometimes serious, the course of action was fairly well laid out for immediate treatment and recovery.
Things became more complicated when you were unsure if the injury was acute or chronic. Some damage would go unnoticed by an athlete until it finally compounded enough to appear. These could actually be the result of chronic conditions and while acute treatments might alleviate immediate pain they wouldn't address the underlying problem.
We can be guilty of this in how we handle problems in our relationships and our community. If we don't recognize the ongoing nature of issues we end up throwing temporary solutions at them without having a lasting effect. To be truly effective we need to recognize the root issue and find a way to address it. It's the difference in dropping one meal off for a family without groceries or working together to change the factors that have contributed to the lack of food. One will be immediately appreciated and short-lived while the other corrects the root cause.
If we fail to recognize the difference between acute & chronic issues we can keep ourselves busy, but never truly be effective in fixing the problem.