Defy the panic, keep it safe and get back to normal soon

One cannot defy a virus, but one can and must defy the panic and that standstill that is dragging us into a recession that will prove a much traumatic experience for a huge part of the society, eventually everyone. I hope that a week of good Easter weather will show that the spike in the spread of the virus has nothing to do with people willing to get back to normal.

Defy the panic, keep it safe and get back to normal soon

One cannot defy a virus, but one can and must defy the panic and that standstill that is dragging us into a recession that will prove a much traumatic experience for a huge part of the society, eventually everyone. I hope that a week of good Easter weather will show that the spike in the spread of the virus has nothing to do with people willing to get back to normal.

I was out for a run today. The weather is finally back to spring after a cloudy and wintery week. At 17 degrees Celsius, so is Berlin—back to what it is on a lovely weekend afternoon. People are out. Happy Palm Sunday everyone! Needless to say, social distancing is something one can only wish for in a crowded space.

Me, I was happy to see so many people enjoying life and spring. Today in the park, it felt like we were united in an action of defying the panic and standstill that paralyses the society.

I do believe in social distancing as a way of protection and do my best at keeping that one- or two-meter distance. I see many groups of three and more people walking, talking, sitting on a bench or the grass together. Very few are wearing the masks. Actually, no one wore on my route today, but I see some on the images while I am browsing on the internet to select one for this piece (because I wasn’t taking my own pictures).

It seems that we’ll be blessed with the weather the whole next week with temperatures at about 20 degrees. This will be the longest stretch of very good weather so far this year. Not a promise, just a hope! Mark my words, the beautiful, blossoming Berlin parks will not be deserted.

Will it cause a spike in the number of the infected? We’ll see in a couple of weeks. Again, hope. I sincerely hope not. But the situation is entirely new; no one knows how many of us have already been infected but not really affected by the virus. No one knows how much we really are exposed to the infection, but common sense tells me that we are not protected anywhere. Simply because it’s a virus and no one can avoid touching any surface hundreds or at least tens of times a day, while theoretically speaking touching a surface once would be enough.

We are not protected until a vaccine has finally arrived. This is obviously the only way for us to acquire immunity against COVID-19 and stop spreading. Does it mean that the economy and social life will be on hold until then? That’s at least a year, I hear.

I am writing this in the hope that the coming week will help us realise that getting back to a relative normal would not endanger us any more than we already are. The experts say we have not reached the peak yet, but we are running towards it in most of Europe and North America. I realise, it will be very difficult to prove, against this background, that the Easter week, with many people basking in the sun, is not adding to the spread.

Corona distancing in Berlin on Palm Sunday 5 April 2020
In a collective action of defying the panic. Berlin on Palm Sunday 2020. Photo: Web.de

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