I like optimism. I like the attitude, “We will get through this. We will conquer the coronavirus, and then things will get back to normal.” But there’s a danger here. If we don’t OBJECTIVELY and CONCRETELY define what “conquering” the coronavirus means, we set ourselves up for perpetual anxiety.
Let’s be real. Medical science has yet to find a cure for the common cold or flu. So what reason — even being optimistic — is there to expect a cure for the coronavirus within 90 days? Trump administration officials were speaking to the media this morning. They say it’s OK to send government relief to companies and individuals, to delay foreclosures, and the like. Why? Because this will all be over 90 days from now, they’re saying. But what if there isn’t a cure in 90 days? What if it takes longer? Let’s be hopeful, sure. But let’s be realistic, too. Will life ever go on? Or are we totally paralyzed until that cure comes?
THIS is the problem. Open-ended panic and anxiety are the death knell for a society. America cannot afford that. It’s incredible to think that six months from now we will permit our officials to say, “We still don’t have a cure. So we’ll have to hunker down for another 3-6 months.” On our present line of reasoning, THAT’S exactly what will happen. Hopefully ordinary people, even if still rationally concerned, will be better able by that time to manage their valid fears … and demand their leaders or rulers to do the same. We can’t stay in lockdown forever. It’s still America … right?
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