Spanish philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
In other words if we forget or ignore how radically the coronavirus and its offspring, the Covid-19 disease, are affecting us we may just go on living them, the pandemic, as if it never ended.
Right now it’s hard to imagine anything worse.
So the suggested lessons here are to learn the difference, keep the positives on board, and leave the rest behind.
The end of the pandemic appears to be coming closer. Dare we hope? A variety of companies are seeking approval for use of their immunization products in the USA. And this Friday morning as I edit this blog, my morning newspaper’s front page headline reads, “Pfizer vaccine gets key U.S. OK.” And the world’s first Covid-19 vaccination is being given today to a British woman. Millions eventually will follow world wide.
Top priority in the USA to get the shots will be health care workers, seniors living in skilled nursing facilities, and others in acute need.
Let me try to name the important areas of our lives that are pandemically tainted and should change, along with the few positives we might want to carry over into the future.
- Movies, live theater, live music performances, other entertainment events. Bring ‘em back!
- Attending church services Sunday mornings (certainly no singing) and any small groups at church that you are part of. Some folks will return quickly, while others have found alternative things to do on Sunday.
- I suspect many of us have made progress in learning how to live alone, how to be alone at home or elsewhere for long periods of time. Some who coupled have now uncoupled and will stay that way. Some who thought they couldn’t handle the loneliness of living alone have found they can, and now will.
- If you have school-age children, or grandchildren, they’re likely now at home with little or nothing to do. But the school bus will arrive again.
- Some among us have developed ways to cope without frequent social interaction, such as how to keep in touch by telephone, and will incorporate it into a “new” life style.
- Road trips, plane trips, train trips, bus trips. Beauty shop and barber shop trips, all will return out of necessity. No hugging, stay home if you’re sick. No coffee gatherings, board or committee meetings. Most will return quickly, and we will welcome them back.
- We’ve learned how to do doctor visits by telephone. However, I haven’t talked with anyone who likes the virtual doctor visit concept. Given a choice most of us probably would choose a face-to-face appointment with our doctor.
- Working our pay job at home instead of at work has become common. In late summer a friend said he hadn’t been to the office since March. As the pandemic fades he no doubt will resist the boss’s desire to bring him back to the office full time.
- Zoom is with us now and probably will be forever. If you haven’t used it, Zoom is an on-line computer program that enables several persons to be seen individually on-screen via video, along with anyone talking live to the group, all done while sitting at home in front of your computer equipped with video camera and sound. It’s sorta like having your meeting cake and eating it too.
Many of the above life activities that we want for ourselves or for others within our circle will require effort to restore. They are not entitlements.
(Next blog: What a variety of seniors and others that I’ve interviewed expect to see hanging around as legacy well after the pandemic has ended.)
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