We are getting hammered every day, almost every hour, with negative news. It’s not easy to keep a degree of positivity when we’ve breached 1,000 deaths per day on the way to a six figure mortality. It’s even harder to do when we hear of Kushner – a man of no medical knowledge, of organizational incompetence and of immense arrogance – taking control of the response to a pandemic. Or when there’s a hospital ship sent to NYC and it’s only allowed to see three patients. Or when Sen. Martha McSally decides to amp up attacks on China in an effort to divert attention from Trump’s continued incompetence.
It’s certainly not easy when we’re stuck inside, staring at the same walls and wondering how long it’s going to be before we can safely resume at least a semblance of our normal lives.
Here’s the good news: it may not be all that long.
Even though we’re far behind the curve in terms of ramping up testing, there is no reason that America, with its production capacity, cannot both produce large quantities of test kits and automate their basic reading, to flag professional lab technicians if anomalies are detected. It’s not happening at the moment, because Trump is still trying to minimize the appearance of failure for his political gain. As the casualties rise, however, pressure will mount on him, and we have the ability to get ahead of that curve.
That brings into play the question of when we resume many normal daily operations. The obvious, biggest expectation of that is when the first effective vaccines hit the market… and that will likely be at the beginning of next year for US companies (although Japan and South Korea, having been galvanized to react immediately upon the virus reaching their shores, may be a month or two ahead of us on developing one.) It’s possible that the vaccine won’t work… although that seems unlikely. More probable is that the vaccine will come around more quickly, if the virus doesn’t mutate as often as was originally suspected.
Even before that, it’s very possible we’ll let normal life resume as soon as we have a handle on new cases… and that will likely happen two to four weeks after we start mass testing. The virus will still be around, but we’ll see only sporadic outbreaks, not a complete second wave. If we can get to that point, the overwhelming majority of people who contract the disease will survive, although perhaps with a visit to the hospital.
That could happen within only a month or two. The only thing stopping us right now is politics.
It’s futile to hope that will get any better by the time of the General election. But hope in a diminished death toll, in a non-mutating virus, in simply going to a movie? That should exist, and it’s very plausible such hope will be rewarded.