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Coronavirus: 5 Reasons to Feel Optimistic

posted May 13, 2020, 12:50 AM by Newcomers Bulletin Board

Much of the media coverage of COVID-19 is focused on bad things happening.

To counterbalance negativity, we also need to look towards the positives so that people can see what has been done, what is working and how things might look in the future if we encounter a second wave of the virus.

  1. COVID-19 IS UNDER CONTROL IN MANY COUNTRIES

    • The value of R0 (pronounced “R nought” is the basic reproduction number that describes the intensity of contagiousness and translates to the average number of people infected) was about 3 when the pandemic kicked off. Now it is down below 1 in many countries. This means the disease is under control and in decline. Even if there is still a long way to go to nail this disease down, we should not understate this achievement and what it means.
  2. THIS HAS BEEN ACHIEVED BY US ALL ABANDONING OUR WAY OF LIFE TEMPORARILY

    • It is remarkable to have witnessed this unity of action that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.
    • The rapid transition to a strategy of social distancing has been an immense success even if it has been tough going.
  3. WE NOW KNOW A LOT MORE ABOUT HOW TO MANAGE THIS DISEASE

    • For a virus, we never knew existed five months ago, thanks to a huge effort to collect data behind the scenes, we now know it almost molecule by molecule. However, much we may wish for a vaccine and useful tests, we have methods to control COVID-19 that we now know can work.
    • We also know a lot more about the kind of challenges there are ahead. For example, we can predict a winter resurgence of the disease. Troublesome though it may be, we can, if we have the will to do so, keep COVID-19 under control even without a vaccine and testing. That is no small achievement.
  4. WE HAVE LEARNED HOW TO ACT IN UNISON AT A MASSIVE, GLOBAL SCALE

    • The global response to the significant problem of COVID-19 has been remarkable. It has averted a disaster for humanity and it suggests we do have the organisational ability to tackle the really big problems facing people and the planet.
  5. WE KNOW A LOT MORE ABOUT OUR VULNERABILITIES AND HOW TO MANAGE THEM

    • Individual countries are learning by doing. Modification of the social distancing policy needs to happen while also being informed by reliable knowledge about how much any change might tend to push the R0 figure back up towards 1.
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