There’a a purported Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” These are interesting times. We are living through a pandemic like those we read of in history books. It is not as bad as the bubonic plague when about 40% of the worlds population was killed, or is it as fleeting as the ebola virus which ravaged some of the world, but left parts alone.
Our pandemic has been with us since March, and appears to be heading for the first weeks of summer. Here in Georgia, the governor opted to loosen the pandemic strictures somewhat last week to include salons and tattoo parlors. The outcry around the nation was deafening, assuming that we are willing to send people to their graves just to get a paycheck.
Oh, how wrong they were. The new cases in Georgia have been decreasing significantly the last week. However, we won’t know if we have made a mistake until a couple of weeks have passed. At this point it looks like the governor has made the right call. From the looks of the curves in the south, we will be in relatively safe country in June.
The virus is not disappearing, it is migrating. It is moving from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere for their cold and flu season. As fall approaches in the northern hemisphere, we will see an uptick, or spike in the number of corona virus infections as the virus works its way back north. This is the way viruses propagate. It will be some time before the populations have built up enough immunity to consider it not a danger.
One big hope is a vaccine, even though many people say it is physically impossible to achieve a safe and effective vaccine in less than a year. There are some cases where medical institutions have not been able to synthesize a vaccine to combat certain viruses. HIV is one, and SARS is another.
Until then, our leaders must understand that the American people are not stupid, nor are they inherently careless with their health. We understand the risks of opening the economies, and most people are willing to risk infection to feed their families. This is not a case of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object. It is a case of common sense and Americans have that quality in spades.