Review lessons up. Zoom meetings set up. Syllabus set up…now just missing the new lessons, all of which will be typeset. I am going to be busy.
I’ve thought about our situation some and here is what is a bit different for me: “flatten the curve” keeps our medical system from being overwhelmed and gives scientists time to study the disease and develop things like vaccines, protocols, etc.
But the reality is that I live with a highly vulnerable person; there will be no “herd immunity” for her. If she gets it: bad news.
And ..well, this article is interesting. It talks about how we got here: a combination of the novelty of the virus (recently jumped from animals to humans), the incompetence of our current government ..and this:
Aspects of America’s identity may need rethinking after COVID-19. Many of the country’s values have seemed to work against it during the pandemic. Its individualism, exceptionalism, and tendency to equate doing whatever you want with an act of resistance meant that when it came time to save lives and stay indoors, some people flocked to bars and clubs. Having internalized years of anti-terrorism messaging following 9/11, Americans resolved to not live in fear. But SARS-CoV-2 has no interest in their terror, only their cells.
Years of isolationist rhetoric had consequences too. Citizens who saw China as a distant, different place, where bats are edible and authoritarianism is acceptable, failed to consider that they would be next or that they wouldn’t be ready. (China’s response to this crisis had its own problems, but that’s for another time.) “People believed the rhetoric that containment would work,” says Wendy Parmet, who studies law and public health at Northeastern University. “We keep them out, and we’ll be okay. When you have a body politic that buys into these ideas of isolationism and ethnonationalism, you’re especially vulnerable when a pandemic hits.”
So..what will happen?
It’s likely, then, that the new coronavirus will be a lingering part of American life for at least a year, if not much longer. If the current round of social-distancing measures works, the pandemic may ebb enough for things to return to a semblance of normalcy. Offices could fill and bars could bustle. Schools could reopen and friends could reunite. But as the status quo returns, so too will the virus. This doesn’t mean that society must be on continuous lockdown until 2022. But “we need to be prepared to do multiple periods of social distancing,” says Stephen Kissler of Harvard.
This appears to be the optimistic outcome.