Another weekend brought more unfortunate news on the COVID-19 pandemic.
I, however, prefer to remain positive while tethered to reality, so I texted and emailed this to some friends Sunday evening:
“Better weather. More tests. More protective supplies. More ventilators. Discovered effective techniques. Invented medication. Eventual vaccine. This will eventually level off.”
Yes, the next two weeks will be tough (and nothing will change by Easter despite our best wishes; even President Trump admitted such when tonight he extended social distancing guidelines to April 30), but let’s resist the urge to play tribalist politics. Instead, let’s manage expectations, think logically, and by all means, do not spread misinformation, hysteria, and alarmism. We’ll persevere and likely turn the corner in May. I believe, as do most medical experts, that normal life shall return in early summer. In the meantime, we need to support those hurt most by the economic shutdown, maintain our health care workers, enhance technology, and prepare to thwart future outbreaks.
As former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a must follow on Twitter, wrote, “We need to remember all the people who are hurt most by the measures we must take: the elderly, lower income Americans, the gig economy, those in services and hospitality sectors, and many others. And most of all, our front line providers who are risking everything to save us.” Can anyone disagree with that? After all, the theme we’ve heard recently is “we’re all in this together.” A bit idealistic considering our media, academia, and politicians, but those who are most worried about health care and/or the economy ought to cooperate and listen to each other.
And it seems they are. When the White House Coronavirus Task Force — established two months ago today — holds a meeting, the economists and health officials don’t bicker or compete; they reportedly acknowledge they are co-dependent and have much at stake. They are thankfully chaired by the steady hand of Vice President Mike Pence, who continues to lead professionally.
You do learn a lot about people in times of crisis — whether it’s your elected leaders or your friends and family. I know I recently have. So let’s seek facts, peace, and grace, not discouragement, fear, and maudlinism.
And when you have time, read this latest roadmap to recovery:
A former teacher and historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He currently resides with his wife in Minnesota