Blitzkrieg on Coronavirus Unlikely BUT…
Not only I’ve never been a full-pledged optimist in my entire life, my deeply ingrained distrust to overly optimistic people regularly proved that it’s safer to remain a sceptic. And when I heard that the coronavirus-induced lockdown will be over by Easter, by magic, I dismissed it as a political prank.
Stuck at home and minding my own business, it was a relief to hear that our government retracts from being a medical Wehrmacht that can announce a Blitzkrieg on the pandemic—and win it! We indeed feel safer in the hands of the medical professionals.
As a result, we, the people, are going to sit it out at our homes, pondering the news, from bad to worse, and hoping for the best. After all, hope dies last, they say, or “esperanza muere última” in Spanish—I just love how it sounds!
But how to snap out of the negative thinking, inescapable in a lockdown?
Snapping Out of Serial Bad News
For me, the best way to cheer up is to get out for a one-hour walk around our neighborhood. Thank goodness, it is so sparsely populated that for a whole hour I can meet only a couple of dogs walking their owners ?. By the way, I noticed that the dogs, big and small, stopped barking (and spreading their bacteria around). Could it be their special way of observing the government’s guidance on social distancing? With the proverbial animal intuition, they might feel grateful they could still get out for a walk!
As I walk, the signs of New Jersey spring are everywhere: from a Japanese cherry with its first blooms, to budding magnolias, to forsythia, to daffodils. Lovely-lovely!
The greenery quickly sets my better mood—and back at home I can proceed to connecting with my friends, virtually of course. Staying in touch, hearing their news, being supportive, listening to their supportive words may be the best part of my day.
At the same time, I was on the lookout to see some reasons for cautious optimism, and sure enough—fortified both with refreshing walk and conversations with friends—I found them. Today it was a measured approach in the article The Road Back to Normal: More, Better Testing, in The Wall Street Journal. It uncovers three things to look for in April, the remaining time-out in our national lockdown:
- A sentinel surveillance system to collect data from locations, with a representative sample of patients – to see if virus is still spreading. It’s in development but non-existent yet.
- The rapid 5-minutes diagnostic tools – which already exists, like the one developed by the Abbott Labs.
- Coronavirus serology tests which screen blood for the antibodies that confer immunity after exposure to pathogen. This may allow for less-restrictive lockdown measures.
The technology for doing all these things will launch en masse, hopefully soon. I am cautiously optimistic about a new healthcare-oriented Silicon Valley to be brought about by the pandemic.
We’re in this together, my friends, watching the world out of our windows. While feeling lonelier in a lockdown, we’re not alone. So, let’s remember that cautious optimism never hurts.
Life is going on—and will be better than ever, as we’ll be armed with the new knowledge and the new, up-to-date social skills.