This Washington Post article summarizes a lot of what I have long believed about COVID-19. It’s unlikely to go away, even with a vaccine, assuming that we can even create that. We sadly do not live in South Korea or New Zealand with a capable government that can control this. It may be around for many, many, many years. It’s entirely likely that over time, the virus becomes less virulent and turn into something like the other four coronaviruses that cause different versions of the common cold, but that could also take years. It’s infuriating that our federal government and half of the state governments are utterly indifferent to the fate of millions of people. Given all of this, life does have to go on in some ways. Marriages, education, death, work, divorce, childcare, etc., Moreover, thanks to our vile sociopathic federal government, the economic impact of this is about to hit even harder with a massive wave of evictions about to get underway, the likely end of the extra unemployment benefit this summer, etc., even as businesses don’t return to normal because most, though not all, people don’t want to go out and risk their lives to gamble in Vegas. So the question is how do we manage the future that almost certainly means having to live with the virus? That’s a very difficult set of questions that is more about risk management than about eliminating the virus, which simply isn’t going to happen.
What makes this all the more horrifying is that the U.S. has totally wasted the time it could have had to set up the best set of public health options possible. The red states are just reopening like crazy and the blue states are now following, though in my view, generally in a more or less responsible way. We’ve talked about a second wave in the fall, but it may well not be nearly that far away in states such as Texas and Georgia and Wisconsin. So what happens then?
There aren’t easy answers to any of this. I’m part of my union’s executive committee and just managing all of this for one college campus is a mindblowing task with enormous numbers of issues that all interconnect. There are no easy answers. At all. Not for higher ed, not for K-12, not for child care facilities, not for nursing homes, the states or the cities or anything else.
So how are people planning to live for years with this virus in our lives?