Adapt rather than avoid

We need to accept that we do not have the means to defeat this current disease and likely will not have them within a while to come. And we cannot wait for a wonder drug or a vaccine that might or might not be found anytime between a year from now and never. We need to resume life. Not from one day to the other back to as it was, of course, but I am convinced we need to get back to as close to normal as possible as soon as possible and accept the fact that there will be an ongoing level of illness and mortality related to this disease. This is sad, but we need to accept our limitations: That we do not have control over everything and that we are all mortal. And this is not ebola or the Spanish flu. It will not end humanity. Fact is, we cannot hide away from this forever. We are human, we need real interaction with other people, we need entertainment, a purpose to get up in the morning, something to look forward to on the weekend. Currently, many of us have none of this. Every single day longer we remain in this situation of complete avoidance of life, we are creating massive issues for the future – the future of the people who will live. Children who are missing out on their education and do not see other children, people who lose their jobs, their businesses and might not have a perspective for the next years of their lives or worse. And even the so-called ‘non-essential’ aspects of our normal lives, such as going to galleries, cafes, the pub and on holiday are not just a luxury we can do without for the foreseeable future, but massive sectors, both nationally and globally, employing hundreds of thousands of people. So I strongly believe we will need to find a better way than just avoiding life altogether. The lockdown was necessary as an ‘emergency break’ because we were caught by surprise by something unknown without any time to prepare. But now, after weeks of freezing life, there has been time to increase resources, to start research, to find better ways of dealing with both prevention and management of this disease – and so we should start implementing those and resume life. Because in the end, life, not just the bare existence we are currently keeping up, must prevail. A few practical considerations: - Offices: why not limit the amount of people in an office at any one time based on its size. People could then ‘rotate’ and, if office attendance will still be voluntary, the numbers of those going back to an office will be self-limiting anyway - Schools: To take pressure away from parents and have children resume their education properly, it is vital they will be able to go back to school as soon as possible. Again, why not limit the amount of pupils per classroom so each child could at least go back to school for a few days a week - Outdoors: One of my biggest criticisms of current lockdown rules is that people are even being moved on from benches in parks. The chance that allowing people more freedom outside (such as sitting on benches, on lawns and even meeting friends outside as long as a distance is kept) would impose a risk are very low based on what reports indicate. And, especially with summer approaching, having a picnic or opening outdoor cafes and beer gardens with enough space in between tables would help both the economy and people’s mental health and wellbeing - Travelling: Some international airports already offer quick tests that deliver results within 3 hours. It should not matter where a person is coming from or going to, but only that they are not infectious. While a quarantine of two weeks as it is currently tied to entering many countries, will basically make any sort of travel all but impossible and thereby debilitate airlines, airports and the entire hospitality industry around the world

Why the contribution is important

It is time to look beyond this crisis and to find a way to live with this virus without ruining our future. Judging from comments on this website and the international news, many people are worried about their future and the future of their children. Examples of other countries that are coming out of lockdown are already showing the devastating impact on economy and people's lives of a prolonged lockdown. We need to start getting back to normal as soon as possible or we will regret it dearly in the future.

by Outis on May 08, 2020 at 11:40AM

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Average rating: 4.3
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Comments

  • Posted by slimbofat May 08, 2020 at 12:28

    Wise words - a great contribution.
  • Posted by Smiffy May 08, 2020 at 12:44

    A ver well reasoned argument. We need to learn how to live with and manage the virus but we have got to live our lives!
  • Posted by Whurlywheep May 08, 2020 at 13:16

    I feel for those who are stuck in small homes with no outdoor space. Particularly those with young families. There needs to be a way to allow parents to take their children outdoors and let off steam. Allowing the use of children's play parks in a limited way might help with this, as would opening parks and gardens on the understanding that social distancing remains part of the deal.
  • Posted by gilldougall May 08, 2020 at 13:38

    We cannot assume there will be a vaccine in a few months - or at all. We cannot go on in this 'suspended animation' without huge damage to the economy, physical and mental health, the education and employment prospects of a whole generation. This sounds a dreadful thing to say, but we have to accept that deaths are inevitable and move forward from there. People die all the time for all sorts of reasons. You could trip over a rug and break your neck. We cannot go through life in a state of fear. I am happy to take my chances do that my children can have theirs.
  • Posted by KevinP May 08, 2020 at 13:41

    Brilliant contribution. I hope Nicola reads this one.
  • Posted by petermuir79 May 08, 2020 at 23:12

    Agree
  • Posted by activeandvibrant May 10, 2020 at 13:14

    Completely agree. We no longer have any perspective on this - terror and fear of people and inanimate objects seems to be the rule at the moment but you are right this just can’t continue - we need to live with it.
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