We must learn how to coexist with COVID-19. But how?
Since March, we have been given an overwhelming amount of medical information, governmental recommendations and conflicting statistics. At this point, the only thing we should agree on is to wear a mask in public. We can't even do this.
This debate reveals more about us than we're willing to admit. It has led to a clash of belief systems and a sense of moral superiority from both sides.
This public health crisis feels like a mad experiment with all of us as clueless test subjects. Its ripple effects seem endless and unpredictable. Most of them I hadn't thought of, such as this latest one: some businesses are no longer accepting cash to counter a national shortage of coins.
What? Really? Last weekend I saw a sign posted inside a grocery store in downstate
The absence of enough coinage in our country's marketplace has so alarmed our government that the
This ripple effect has of course created another ripple - conspiracy theories warning us about a "cashless society" and its dire consequences. This month, a message supposedly written by a well-known financial adviser about the dangers of a cashless society went viral on social media. It typically started with the title, "Here's What No Cash Actually Means."
Snopes.com debunked the claim, "A common tactic of purveyors of misinformation is to attach a well-known or well-liked person to an opinion piece in an attempt to give those opinions credence. In this case,
Ramsey did not write it. He sent a tweet to clarify that he had nothing to do with it, ending with a fictional quote from
I'm a cash kind of guy. I still use it more than my debit card whenever possible. I may have to change this old habit, just another example how our lives have had to change again and again due to COVID-19. You'd think by now, in the fifth month of this crisis, we'd feel more secure or educated. We are, for just a minute, and then everything gets twisted again.
Despite the information overload we're bombarded with each day (sometimes every hour) we're left asking more unanswerable questions: What happens when COVID-19 meets flu season 2020? Is there indeed a third pathway of the virus contagion through aerosols? Can this coronavirus cause long-term damage to our body organs beyond our lungs? How effective will a vaccine be once it arrives?
Earlier this week it was announced that a
The trial is scheduled to begin later this month with 30,000 subjects, with hopes that its results are similar to the smaller trial, which showed an effective immune response capable of inducing levels of neutralizing antibodies. The vaccine could (there's that word again) offer a double defense of antibodies and T-cells, so-called "helper" cells.
My first thought: how many people will agree to get a vaccine - any vaccine - out of sheer desperation regardless of the fast-tracked rush to produce it and market it?
"No matter how you slice this, this is good news," Dr.
No matter how you slice it, Fauci is now being quietly discredited and publicly pushed aside by the Trump administration. The same week our country is experiencing record numbers of COVID cases in several states, Fauci is being panned by the
Fauci's approval numbers are higher than President
I've already rehearsed the most common "risk indicators" for this pandemic: Is the number of infections and deaths going down? Is COVID testing widespread enough to identify new cases? Do hospitals have capacity to treat a surge of COVID hospitalizations? Are we finding and isolating most new cases before COVID spreads?
Many of us have had to become amateur health care researchers, attempting to figure out our next steps, literally. I've clipped out a stack of newspaper stories on multiple subjects, yet all related to the pandemic. I hover on a daily basis between feeling smartly educated and seriously overwhelmed.
Our leaders may be doing their best amid this unparalleled catastrophe. It isn't enough. We don't know who to trust for guidance. At a time when science is needed more than ever, too many of us are wrongly leaning on our political biases to understand this complex, multi-faceted situation. It's like to using a kaleidoscope to observe outer space. It only distorts things into chaos.
Unfortunately, this image of chaos may best illustrate how we are currently coexisting with COVID-19. Will it become clearer in three months? By the end of the year? We honestly don't know.