At the end of last week, we passed the six-month mark since the first cases of coronavirus came to light in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Few then would have known now of its impact on our world and way of life.
Now, half a year on into this global pandemic, public health authorities have logged more than seven million recorded cases, sadly coronavirus has claimed the life of some 400,000 people, while in the United States two million cases of COVID-19 have been logged by officials there.
This pandemic has impacted the lives of everyone of us who share this planet together. The way we lived, worked, socialised, interacted — all have been altered in ways we never conceived possible just mere months ago.
We know too that measures put in place can suppress it until that vaccine arrives. That day will come, but we all now must play our part by getting on with our work, our lives, our living
Our economies have suddenly hibernated as two-thirds of the world’s people lived under some form of restrictions on their movement, work and daily lives.
China has emerged from the pandemic and offered a way forward. In Italy and Spain, nations where the very fabric of life was smothered by this virus, the soul of communities laid bare by a pandemic that targeted the old, the vulnerable, the carers.
Challenge to public health
In India, where the nation’s sheer size and crowded living conditions offer a challenge to public health officials, coronavirus continues to spread. In Brazil, under a presidency that has abrogated duties of care and abandoned social responsibility, too many die from indecision, inaction and indifference.
But for all of the darkness wrought by this pandemic, there are encouraging signs too. Across Europe, nations are once again pressing the reset button on their societies and economies.
And in New Zealand, a nation aided by geographic isolation and abetted by decisive action, it is now free of coronavirus.
It is important to remember that this virus will be defeated by our development of a vaccine — just as we have tamed other diseases that brought death and illness throughout our shared histories.
We know too that measures put in place can suppress it until that vaccine arrives. That day will come, but we all now must play our part by getting on with our work, our lives, our living.
Now is the time to reset our economy, move forward, look to the future with optimism knowing that together, we overcame. And yes, we must be vigilant — but we are resilient too.