By Isis Win
Early this year, shortly after China announcing the multiple mysterious pulmonary deaths in Wuhan, China, I wrote a couple of blogs about the potential changes of a world epidemic spread of a fatal disease. At the time, little was known about this Sars disease named Covid-19. What was known is that it is exceptionally contagious, asymptomatic, and fatal in many cases. Knowing this immediately sent me to recall historical pandemics that killed thousands of people, changing the affected regions’ makeup. Life in those locations never returned to their prior status or what could be considered “normal.” I realized that will be the fortune of any affected nation.
It took weeks for the US to get momentum with the spread of C-19. Other countries set a precedent that all nations should follow. The only potential to stop this spread is by preventing it from going to places. A forced lockdown was needed, followed by tracing. The US proved incapable of achieving that needed goal, so the next measure became clear: A mandatory proper face mask should be worn outside the home and observe social distance. We know the history and story of all that, so we reckon leadership failed to prevent massive losses of lives and stop the disease’s spread. Normal, which was no longer alive, now received the final shot, so life will change for almost everyone, and we would need to adapt to a “New Normal.” That was my topic a few times in my blogs. It was mostly ignored because by May still was believed, C-19 will no longer be a threat, and life would return as it was before. This is the middle of October, and we still are experiencing a wave of new cases and more deaths. Nevertheless, tracing is not available, and the usual way of attacking this potential threat, testing, actually has not appropriately happened or as needed. The stats of today are sad but much more that we are far, far from reaching a plateau we can call “normal.”
Normal stopped since the late 1980s when scientists discovered the massive hole in the ozone layer. Science stated that the reduction of this layer will create what we know as global warming. Global warming will change everything we know from our past and create a new reality that would be hard to cope with if we do not disappear first. Initial signs showed up but were lightly acknowledge if not altogether ignored. My favorite example of that, but not the only one, was the discovery in a region of Israel. The Jewish government hired a team of scientists to figure out why an area capable of producing large amounts of produce produced nothing.
At last, a scientist discovered that such region was bathed by a higher amount of Ultraviolet light that can be destructive to life forms. The discovery did not go anywhere. However, a coincidence joined that scientist’s work to a Ph. D. graduate’s dissertation claiming the same scenario. More massive amounts of UV light are hitting the US. The two scientists talked about it and figured that UV light is causing severe damage in several world regions. The reaction was not to set panic among the population—the end of the deal. However, “normal” could not be called that way anymore. Then the warning of Global heating came out, and so far, we have done too little to slow it down, much more to stop it.
Covid is suspected to be partly a result of global warming. No details to bore you will be noted here, but you can find plenty of info on the internet.
The vital issue in my blog is that we are not returning anywhere and continually are moving towards unknown lands. This resulted from both scenarios and others that no public talks about—air, water, ground, and food, presenting an apocalyptic scenario.
We are already in the 1st face of the new normal. What is it then? Some noticeable changes, such as the economic order, will be different, and it comes with its own series of new normal. Socially, for as long as C-19 is not entirely vanished, which may take years, social distancing and PPE may become mandatory. As well, the tracing and testing protocols will have to be renewed from time to time. The social distancing item will change almost everything we know. Large congregations of people: houses of worship, schools, factories, entertainment events, mass transportation, and just all gatherings in places not entirely free of C-19 will have to be observant of these precautionary measures. Traveling domestically and internationally will be affected too. Health facilities will suffer from changes, also as the practice of services. Most likely, food production facilities, starting from farms, to factories will have to be heavily regulated to avoid making them super-spreaders. That is just the beginning, and we will learn more as we go.
Perhaps the most essential new normal will be people’s attitudes. Many countries, including the US, had substantial numbers of people who would have to comply with the new protocols that will most likely require legal applications to enforce their compliance regardless of their reason to avoid the needed protocols. That has been the US #1 problem that did not help control the crisis but had increased the spread, numbers of deaths, and lengthening the time to maintain the spread.
These obvious measures will change several other “normals.” The use of powered vehicles most likely will be reduced, not because mass transportation becomes safe, but because of the financial impact on the working class. Employment has already been heavily affected. Although we will likely see increasing numbers of available positions, those will have to be carefully planned to secure their workers’ minimal travel. Clearly, millions of us will have to take the available job we can do, but we likely will not have many choices for that. The critical aspect is to entirely eliminate the disease.
So what about vaccines? Cures? Both will be available at some point, but there will not be a silver bullet, but a lengthy improvement of both will require lots of time. Although cases are in the millions, asymptomatic people may be spreading the disease, and the numbers can escalate to a billion or more. We just don’t know, and we cannot disqualify anything until we know for sure. However, that is on the disease side. Suppose we do not curve global warming effects. In that case, we will be under a severe threat. not just by what we already know, extremely higher temps – lower temps, rising waters, increased and more massive natural disasters, etc. but other effects such as an increasing number of other infectious diseases. All resulted from our changing environment. More Sars diseases are prone to show up.
Clearly, the most dramatic new normal is that we have to assess our lifestyle, likes, preferences, etc. We have to adapt accordingly. Not doing it will increase the severity and frequency of all threats, and many may sum-up together wiping entire regions and numbers of lives. What is essential now is to abandon the idea of returning to the normal we knew before.