Boon or Bane

There are few alive today who have experienced the magnitude of the pandemic we are experiencing now. The last was the Polio virus that swept the world for about 10 years. The true origin of the Polio virus is unknown but cases of it have been around since before records were kept. I was a 9-year-old child in 1955 when the vaccine to stop Polio was introduced. My sister and a cousin of mine both contracted the disease at that time. I found out, years later, that my Grandmother was left crippled on one side of her body by Polio when she was a child. One side of her continued to grow, the other did not. It left her as a hunchback. Reports I have seen, indicate the outbreak in the 1950’s was treated the same way we are treating the Covid-19 virus today: stay home, stay safe.

The Polio virus is transmitted from person to person through the digestive system, but it is mostly damaging to the central nervous system. Victims of Polio were cured, left with paralysis or died. So far, we see that Covid-19 virus victims are either cured or dying. We do not know if there are other long-term effects. It passes from person to person, or airborne to person. This makes it the most dangerous virus of all time because it so efficiently transmits.

The efficiency of Covid-19 intensifies the urgency of finding a vaccine or cure for the virus. It can infect people in various ways, even through the air we are told. We do not yet have a natural resistance to it. It may have been recently created unlike other viruses. Therefore, it travels through us rapidly and with devastating results.  The outbreak is a true pandemic affecting the entire world. It is a survivable illness, but it has been life threatening to many people with health weaknesses. All governments are working intensely to stem the spread of the disease.

Many countries, especially hard hit by the virus, have implemented quarantine measures for their citizens. The United States has shut down businesses such as restaurants, fitness clubs, salons and non-essential medical establishments. People are being told to stay at home, stay at least six feet apart from others and wear face masks and gloves. Do this if you must have contact with others.

The measures taken appear to have been effective in curbing the mass infections in the United States. When we were first exposed, several close contact areas of the country had large outbreaks. Now the data indicates that the number of cases is beginning to decline. If the decline in the number of cases continues, there are plans to gradually reopen the country and return to normal life.

The question is, should we return to the normal way the world was even when the Covid-19 virus is defeated? The answer to the question is we can never return to the normal way the world was. Many changes have been made already that will never go backwards. People have grown accustomed to living at home eating at home and working at home. The once extinct drive-in movie theaters are popping up around the country again. The supply chain for products has been broken including food. Things that were taken for granted have been replaced with empty store shelves. There are shortages of all kind of different products.

Millions of people have no income because their jobs are gone away. Adjustments are being made by all people in all countries to make things comfortable. We live in a different world today than we did just two months ago. The worst is yet to come. Like all other viruses Covid-19 is not going to go away. A vaccine to hold the virus at bay will be developed. It will be reduced to a controllable illness like the Polio vaccine. But it will be different because it is so rapid and so deadly. The use of safeguards like face masks, washing hands and keeping your distance may never go away. Other viruses are on the horizon as well. They will influence how people think and react from now on.

There is also a war brewing right now that will be fought and will include all of us. Governments are beginning to control how we live now more than ever. At the same time, people are beginning to protest the controls put on by the governments. The time has come to ferret out what will work and what will not be tolerable. The stock markets are holding steady in all the confusion, largely due to the government injecting money into the system. Money does not grow on trees. It will come someday out of the pockets of people who are not even born yet.

Many people want to stop the government actions. Many people are going hungry. They argue that it is essential to open the country so people can return to work, make money and feed their families. They have reached the point where they do not care that some will die from the disease. They believe that they will die if things do not change. The government, on the other hand, is supposedly using the confinement  to save lives at what they hope will be an acceptable cost to the masses.

Our situation in the world has become a dilemma that will be resolved. It will be either a boon to society or a bane to the world. If economic stability can be restored, if people are able to get jobs, if we can move about freely, if the virus can be curbed and if people can be made comfortable again the changes we go through will be a boon to society.

Or, if controversy continues and the virus continues to spread fear and panic, there will be setbacks to society. A serious economic depression can occur. More lives will be lost. The U.S. and the world will head into a downward spiral that will take years to overcome if ever. The government has stepped in to stop the fear of the virus. Yet, in so doing they are turning to socialist practices. Socialism will bring short term to comfort the masses. Yes, there will be many changes.  But they will be a bane to society as we give up our FREEDOM?

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