We’re wishing we could have a giant reset on the pandemic -- rather, on the way we’re reacting.
Some of us think it is more real than others, but most people by now believe that there is an actual virus that can make people sick. Some of us believe it makes more people sick than others, but at this point most people realize it’s a lot of people.
We don’t really get the indignation some people engage in because things have changed. Clear back at the beginning, for instance, the efficacy of masks wasn’t estimated to be what is today. Back at the beginning, people suffering severe symptoms were likely to go right on a respirator. Back a couple months, we all believed children were largely immune.
All that thinking changed. That doesn’t mean our health professionals or government leaders were lying or changing the framework of the problem for convenience sake. It means that more and more data is collected, more experience is gained, more things have been tried out ... things change.
That said, when do we really start tracking and tracing what’s to blame for what? If we understand what experts are saying now, back when we were opening things back up and were allowing inside dining at restaurants ... that wasn’t really to blame for the latest surge in cases. Rather, the big culprit was gatherings: barbecues with friends and neighbors, reunions, celebrations.
So why are restaurants -- at least the ones that take the tenets of prevention seriously -- forced to close inside service?
It feels more like a punishment than a preventative.
Finally, at what point would enforcement of some sort be OK? Please don’t send the bombs our way -- we’re not advocating for it. Not yet anyway. But we’re just curious.
We’re tending to trip along here, believing that a vaccine is going to be widely available any day now. It’s not. Maybe by the end of the year? Maybe. But what if it’s a lot longer? At some point -- maybe during the next surge, or the one after that -- will enforcement (other than the state holding liquor and barber licenses hostage) come into play?
What we are wishing would happen is that everyone would agree to press pause, have some frank, data-based discussions about what makes and what doesn’t make sense, and then start over with our reaction to the pandemic.
Leaders would have to agree to come to the table and try to shed the politics of the moment ... there should be no one ranting that no economic consideration should play a role in our strategy; there should be no one blaming the dictator and all the socialists for the problem.
Probably more wishful than hopeful thinking.