Opinions about COVID-19 and how the pandemic is being managed at the global, national, state, and local levels is literally all over the board. Some feel the process of reopening is happening too quickly, with all eyes on the states that are accelerating through phases of reopening and shifting their focus a bit more heavily toward economic recovery. These opinions may seem validated as the number of states pivoting back to closure appears to be on the rise. In some cases, businesses that were given the green light to reopen a short while ago are closing back down, and several Governors are putting the brakes on movement toward their state’s next phase of recovery, as COVID-19 cases again spike.
For others, getting back to normal routines and lifestyles cannot happen soon enough; these are the folks moving on the fast track with little to no intention of looking back. Some even believe COVID-19 is a political hoax, or a story that simply got too much attention by the international news media, and was therefore blown out of proportion all along.
Perhaps the vast majority, however, are stuck somewhere in the middle. These are the people who are eager to move on and enjoy their standard summertime traditions with family and friends, but feeling a bit apprehensive about doing so in light of the vast number of “unknowns” that still exist as the fight against the Coronavirus continues, with the light at the end of the tunnel appearing foggy, at best. One thing is clear, the science is still developing.
It’s not up to me to decide whose opinion is closest to correct or matters the most. The reality is that there is a lot of gray area in assessing the status of COVID-19, and the personal decisions that must be made by individuals about what life looks like today, and how it might look tomorrow, next week, next month, this Fall or by the end of the year.
That said, a dashboard, updated in real-time and presented digitally by the World Health Organization (WHO) reminds us that erring on the side of caution may very well be the best bet, as difficult as that may be to hear. Check it out at any time for the latest data on global cases, broken down by region and territory. Click here to access the database. The WHO’s overarching message, validated by their online dashboard, is that we are still very much living in the midst of the global health pandemic, and that the worst might be yet to come, in terms of both the overall number of cases that will be diagnosed as well as the number of lives that will be claimed by the unrelenting virus. Yes, it’s scary. And yes, it’s real.
As I’ve said all along, there are more unknowns associated with COVID-19 than can be counted. And there is no way of knowing for sure when the war against this invisible enemy will be won. It’s not appropriate to say we are all in the same boat because everyone’s circumstances and challenges are a bit different right now. We are all in different boats, but we are weathering the same storm. Let’s remember that continue supporting one another and taking this one day at a time until we come out of this storm together, on the other side. That means we must stay the course – frequent hand washing, appropriate masking and social distancing are a must. We’re all in this together!