STAYING inside, away from our offices, routines, and community, feels jarring even for those who, on a rational level, understand the need for extreme social distancing. The good side is having more family time.
Just as seasickness abates once you can see the shore, the disruptions now experienced would be easier to manage if we knew they would end soon. But the way the crisis ends will be far more muddled. There isn’t going to be one all-clear signal.
As the days and weeks go by, people will become more insistent on knowing two things: when will the pandemic end? and when can we go back to normal? These questions have different answers, and the answer to the latter will be guided by ice-cold moral and political calculations that nobody wants to discuss out loud.
From a public-health standard, the pandemic will not end for another 18 months. The only complete resolution—a vaccine—could be at that far away. The development of a successful vaccine is both difficult and not sufficient. It must also be manufactured, distributed, and administered to a nation’s citizens. Until that happens, we will be vulnerable to subsequent waves of the new coronavirus even if the current wave happens to ebb.
The economic consequences of an indefinite lockdown are unsustainable. At a certain point, the emotional tensions that staying home imposes upon families become a danger to domestic harmony, and maybe even to everyone’s sanity. At the moment, we are just playing for time. Whether social distancing is working will be clearer in a month than it is now, but even then, we will not know to a moral certainty when adults can safely go back to the office and children can go back to school.
The goal of social distancing is to keep the number of Covid-19 cases from spiking faster than the medical system can mobilize to handle them. But a flatter curve is longer; a failure of social distancing would mean the peak comes sooner.
The goal is to minimize risk, maximize defenses, and maintain social cohesion at the same time. In a society that must start moving again at some point, emergency-management planners looking at the metrics may seem heartless. The wrenching decision to open up again is a judgment call. It is too late to prevent tragedy entirely; our goal is to manage it within the limits of scientific progress and public tolerance. Managing the pandemic well doesn’t mean eradication; Social distancing, will eventually give way to efforts to quickly identify those infected, before they can expose others, and also to treat those already exposed.
Even before a vaccine is available, life will go on. Sometime between now and when a vaccine becomes available, restaurants and schools and offices will reopen. It won’t happen all at once, but as individual households and workplaces will conclude one by one that they’ve had enough, and that the surge in testing kits and other resources is finally sufficient to meet the need.”
(This was taken from the article “The Crisis Could Last 18 Months. Be Prepared” by JULIETTE KAYYEM, a former assistant secretary for homeland security under President Obama. She is the author of Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home)
“Bad days always promise a better day tomorrow.” ~ Arieana E.
“For every nonsense that is written, there is a sense behind the ‘non.’ Not until we go behind the ‘non,’ we shall least see the sense. If we stand in front of the nonsense, the ‘non’ shall always face us. It may only take a step taking to go behind the ‘non’ to see the sense the ‘non’ is obstructing. There are so many people who quit so quickly just because they look at the non in front of the sense and they conclude that sense can never come after ‘non.” ~ Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
“There are more glorious days ahead, this should be your joy for today.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!
“Change is important, but if you can’t really change it, just keep calm, understand the situation and go through it with a good heart! Time will surely speak with time!” ~ Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
May 19, 2020
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