Isolated but not isolonelyFri, 8th May '20, 3:55 am::
Leela turns six months old today! She is healthy, smiling, and surprisingly easy to care for. Naveen is doing well, especially now that Juliet bought him a tiny indoors trampoline to jump on all day. We've been at home for 7 weeks now and keeping ourselves busy. Four days a week, we attend an online martial arts class hosted by our friends Maria & Megan at Mt. Song. Naveen's been playing Terraria on his Kindle and I've been catching up on last few years of DC superheroes shows on Netflix.
Not to say that things are all peachy. It is definitely a detriment to both the kids that they have nobody else their age to play with at this time and might not for another few months. Juliet has started getting Naveen to exchange letters with his friends. She is pretty social and outgoing herself and hasn't seen her friends in a while too so I'm sure it's been hard on her. Not much has changed for me since I barely go out to meet people in person; most of my socializing is online or on the phone so I'm the least impacted.
As to my thoughts on how the virus will further spread or die out - no idea. I've been keeping an eye on it since late December when it was just a rumor. We now know so much about it but it is still not enough. We don't know which medicines help and at what stage of the infection. We don't know if lack of Vitamin D has a material impact on severity. We don't know if most people already have it. We don't know if there will be another wave or two. We don't know if there will be a vaccine in a year or two. We don't know which country is doing is right for the long term - Sweden or Singapore.
What I do know is that we know a lot about seasonal flu. We have vaccines, procedures and protocols, and a century of painful experience and medical knowledge. And yet seasonal flu kills tens of thousands of people each year. This variant of coronavirus is new, unlike other common viruses, and as of yet, incurable. So regardless of whether it's ro factor is higher or lower than flu, there are far too many unknowns for anyone to predict months out. We can extrapolate infection case counts for a few days or week but beyond that, nobody knows. We can look at community infection rates and suggest mitigation efforts but we cannot predict how people will adhere to them. Anyone who says anything concrete is just giving their best opinion. Will it go away after everything reopens? Nobody knows. Will it caught a million deaths by end of 2020? Nobody knows.
It is common for there to be world-wide issues that affect everyone that nobody knows how to predict. That's been the standard of our experience for millennia. Nobody knew when the World Wars would end. Nobody knows when the next big earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, or volcanic eruption will be. Nobody knows what price of oil will be in three years. Our entire society is built on not knowing something but working very hard to find out. That's what we humans do. We say "I dunno but..." and then we figure it out a decade later. Our problem isn't that people don't know. Our problem is people who don't know but claim they do. It is totally ok to be cautious at this time because we really don't know. And frankly, since we don't know, it is also ok for others to have different outlook than you, provided they are based on something resembling reality.
My long term outlook of coronavirus is that we will either have a decent enough vaccine or a pretty reliable treatment procedure. Along with the seasonal flu, we will have seasonal COVID cases but they will be fewer in number. Unlike SARS, I don't think coronavirus will be contained and eliminated from general population since it has already spread so much. So it will be closer to swine flu or norovirus. Billions of people with none to mild symptoms, tens of thousands of deaths annually. If my suspicious are correct, then it won't matter if countries chose the Singapore route of "test-everyone and wear masks" or Sweden route of "keep elderly safe but everyone else keep working" except to flatten the hospitalization curve.
Right now most places have indeed flattened the curve but I think that might give people a false sense of safety. People in countries like Vietnam and New Zealand who now have close to zero cases might think their country avoided the COVID pandemic completely. But until there is a vaccine, there is no guarantee that they won't become the next hot spot after reopening their borders to tourists. Contrast that with Florida that is already reopening and most likely will have an uptick in cases over the summer. A year from now almost all Floridians will either be immune from COVID or some unfortunately dead. So in 2021 summer who will have a better tourist season? Vietnam or NZ which could be a coronavirus zone or Florida which already went through the worst?
These are just opinions, like everyone else. Nobody knows and so all I can say is stay safe, stay healthy, and try not to lick handrails!