“I cant wait to get back to normal. I’m tired of this social distancing.”
Who among us hasn’t expressed some thought like this in the past month? We all want to get back to eating at restaurants, strolling about in crowded cities, mingling with the opposite sex, and giving strong handshakes to colleagues.
There’s just one problem: the virus isn’t just going to go away one day.
We’ll reduce infection and death rates. We’ll build herd immunity. We’ll boost hospital capacity. We’ll develop treatments. But until you get a vaccine (which may take over a year, assuming it’s any good) you probably won’t ever be able to feel 100% secure against the risk of infection.
And no one is going to come on TV and (reliably) tell us: “Hey everyone! Everything is OK now!”
Normalcy is never a safe bet at any time. Even when there’s not a WHO-designated pandemic, there’s always the risk that the next hands we shake will carry the virus or bacteria that will kill us. There’s always the risk that we’ll get infected, injured, insulted, exposed, defrauded, or abandoned whenever we interact with our fellow human beings.
It’s a wonder we ever were as physically close as we once were. Our “normal” was only normal because we either 1) ignored the risks or 2) knew the risks and shook the hand/hugged the friend anyway.
Call it courage, call it foolishness, but we’ll need it if we ever want to get back to normal. The boldest/stupidest of us will have to be the first to go back to sitting in the movie theatres, dining at restaurants, and flying on airplanes. It will be our job to do these things and survive, so the rest of the world finds its own boldness/stupidity in their good time.
Then we’ll have normalcy again. But we’ll have to be a little crazy to get it.
(P.S. This isn’t medical advice, dumbass. Consider your health risk factors, take cautious steps to normalcy, and don’t expose vulnerable people if you decide to mix and mingle.)