Yesterday we attempted to go to a store to pick up some groceries. When we got there we discovered a line around the block, each person in line standing by a piece of blue tape on the sidewalk, six feet from the next piece of tape. The store was letting in only 15 people at a time. Faced with the prospect of waiting in line in the cold and wind, with a bunch of folks who probably had their statistical number of already-infected persons, we went home.
At home we continued to do ‘stay in place’ kind of things, including a pre-dinner happy hour by Zoom with our friends in Canada.
What occurs to me, though, is not the usual, ‘when will it be over?’ kind of questions. What sticks in my mind is that this kind of epidemic is probably only going to become more prevalent in the years ahead. We have a powerful wake-up call, right now, that says, get ready! The world is still becoming more populous, and strange versions of diseases are on the increase. We know this because every year we’ve had a new version of the flu (which also kills people), and that’s been going on for a couple of decades. We have the chance, right now, to plan ahead and get prepared to head off the next wave of infection, as well as this wave. If we think long term we can make the whole world safer. If we think only about selling our stocks with an insider trading tip (as four Senators have done), to avoid a crash caused by this disease, we’re backing a short term gain at the expense of a long time disaster.
It’s time we started working together, as a global entity.