June 25, 2021

Chapter 5 – Life in times of Corona – The new and newer normal

Thoughts in February 2021 about the current state of things.

We´re currently on the back side of what might be termed the second wave in central Europe. The numbers are slowly going down but I have an uneasy feeling when looking at data concerning the proportion of mutated forms of the corona virus. These are now detectable in data, for example, from the southwest federal state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany and seem to be growing exponentially „under the cover“ of total current numbers.

Looking at his excellent analysis and projection for the next few months, I take it that we can expect the numbers to bottom out somewhere near 50 and then start to rise again as the proportion of cases with mutated forms of the virus increases.

This certainly gives me a quite uneasy feeling. The second wave has been rather unpleasant so far with impacts coming in closer and the general feeling that the reserves are being used up without really making any ground. I shall try to jot down a few ideas that I think are important at the moment:

  • We need a regular re-evaluation of the situation and reassessment of whether our current measures are adequate. We need to have a clear idea of where we want to go. This needs to be communicated clearly and transparently to all citizens. It is also essential to communicate changes in the overall situation so that people can understand and adjust accordingly.
  • The health system, including points of treatment, access and contact tracing units, needs urgent support and reinforcement in a coherent and organised way. It is also important to consider how those impacted by health issues of all types can be currently supported in their home context.
  • Small and medium sized businesses are quietly going under. The government support available is not being seen to arrive in time in Germany and it is not clear why. Here we also need clear and transparent communication along with a clear concept of what we are hoping to achieve.
  • Education and schools. I cannot see schools and in-person education returning to anything like previous normality up until the summer and frankly, should there be further waves after the summer, after that as well. We need a dramatic change in perspective. We need schools and educators to move into a new world of teaching using all the technological possibilities that we currently have at our disposal. Education is the way forwards into a world of reduced inequality and greater stability. This is a great opportunity to move education in Germany forwards.
  • Support systems in society. Religion has always been a pillar in society particularly in times of crisis. This is a time of crisis and local churches here have closed with no alternative arrangements. People need somewhere and someone to turn to. Do religious centres need technological support so they can give us support? If so let´s help them become accessible again.
  • We are still charging into a climate crisis despite all given distractions. This needs focus too and needs to be considered and incorporated into our “way forward”.

Update: interesting article on perspectives for the future and vaccination for Coronavirus in Nature:

Five reasons why COVID herd immunity is probably impossible
Even with vaccination efforts in full force, the theoretical threshold for vanquishing COVID-19 looks to be out of reach.

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