I’m lucky enough to live in one of the places in the developed world with the lowest positivity rates for COVID right now. That comes with certain benefits like travel bubbles and a certain peace of mind. Part of the reason we’re doing so well is adhering to strict social distancing rules, mandatory masking and mandatory 14 day quarantines for anyone coming in from outside the bubble. We have gone weeks between cases which pop up here and there and are inevitably related to travel.
But a few things are changing in the coming weeks. One is public school is starting up again basically as normal with some masking and social distancing in place. There are however a series of back up plans. We also have a ton of universities here and students also have to do their two weeks in isolation. Our government is being careful but our cases might very well tick up a bit in the coming weeks. Some people here are a little hysterical about all of this and I get it it is hard. It makes me wonder if we are freaking out a bit here how are people feeling elsewhere?
I picked a sailing quote here because we are sort of in uncharted waters here. Our last global pandemic was in 1918 and the world was a very different place back then. Scientists has really just figured out the idea of germs being bacteria and viruses was only about 20 years ago and it was really not common knowledge. People were less educated, literate and has way less access to information. The technology that we have now like contact tracing and bluetooth alerts was incredibly far off. We did learn some lessons there and from the Polio outbreak years. The world is such a different place now we can’t really assume much will be the same this time.
You might be frustrated by the things that seem to be changing like the opening of schools or the fact you might have to now wear a mask. The truth of it is we don’t know exactly how any of that is going to go but everyone in public health really is doing what they as experts deem as the right thing right now. But no matter what we’re gathering more useful relevant information. Try to be aware that this whole situation can make good people a bit xenophobic, selfish and opportunistic. If we realize that it can make it a lot easier to avoid falling into those traps.
In a lot of ways you can do what you want and control your own destiny. In most places that’s your right. That doesn’t always mean you’ll be doing the right thing though. For those of us on the other side we have to remember that people really aren’t doing anything to us directly. It really is up to you how you want to navigate this storm. If you want to stay six feet away you can and wear a mask you can too. I know that hasn’t been hard for me yet.
So if you are anxious, upset or worked up on one side of this or the other remember that you are in control you your specific situation. Let’s all do our best in this to do good for others and think about what that means for you this weekend.