We seem to have come to a place where we are siding now with our favorite scientists, or our favorite news posts about our favorite scientists. The realists are leaning toward pessimism and the pessimists are already in despair. If you’re an optimist, like me, it’s determination to stay there and read posts that give you hope. Why read what is going to make you more afraid, more sad? Do more of any of those things work?
Making sense of a global pandemic is impossible at any rate. There must be a reason why there is argument about how the virus started (did it come from a “wet market” in Wuhan province in China, where patrons eat exotic proteins from bats or pangolins? Or did it come from a bio-weapons lab that didn’t handle procedures just right?). The conspiracies abound and no one knows. And then there are those who say if you call the virus the “Wuhan Virus” or something like that, you’re xenophobic. Nonsense, of course, but in a hyper-partisan age, no one is safe from assumption.
Either we will get through this thing, or we won’t. Not getting through it looks pretty “Mad Max” like. It’s not that the virus will kill everyone. It won’t. In fact, for the most of us, we may not even know we have or had it. But if we keep locked down much longer–the economy will sputter and food will become scarce, supply lines will break down. No one wants that. So even those who say, “stay home–don’t go out. Don’t do anything,” are at some point going to have to step aside. Sure, if we could all socially distance forever–it’d be a lot harder for the virus–any virus–to do damage. But that’s not how the world will work. Or rather, if it is–there’s a whole new world out there–and it’s not Disney’s.
But that’s the ugly side. And none of us–even if we’re the world’s worst pessimist–wants to entertain that. So, it’s good to see a debate building now about how to get back into the world. It’s going to have to be thought through, and we’re definitely not just going to open back up and start running again–not until there is a vaccine or herd immunity anyway. The vaccine is probably a way’s off, the best case scenario appears to be November or December. And that might be wishful thinking. Still–the world will not stop spinning, and we will have to begin a slow roll of putting people back to work, back to the world, back to the economy: The cure most definitely must not be worse than the disease.
Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m writing this. I have no answers–and that’s not what my podcasts are about. Right now, I am dealing with the here and now. Let’s talk about creativity and joy. Those things are at the heart of who we are–and we have to find ways to maintain them or none of this will make any sense.