angry duck

Reset and Course Correction

A collage made up of a bunch of old walls from recently locked-down Málaga. We have Swedish American friends still there and I can’t help but feel, well, sorry for them being stuck and forced to live under the government’s recently imposed state of emergency rules where they are barely allowed to leave their apartment on Plaza de la Merced.

As a small business owner, I also feel for all the shop owners, restauranteurs, and bars that we frequented regularly during our stay in Málaga. Most will likely go bankrupt in the next couple of months. Something we might have to do as well.

Like many others, I probably think too much about the long-term implications this pandemic could have. Since the spread is delayed around the world, what will happen once the virus hits poverty-stricken Africa, India, South America – and other regions where it has yet appeared?

One of the most important questions is; how do we avoid having the virus return once we’ve got it eradicated, or, at least diminished within the EU and US?

Will there be a vigorous screening process put in place at all borders, including airports, seaports, bus and train stations? I’m thinking here of a checkpoint process that will make today’s tiresome airport safety procedures seem ridiculously negligent and expeditious.

What if anybody arriving internationally has to undergo a diligent health control before being allowed to enter the European bloc?

Hopefully, the extensive time required today between testing and getting lab results will decrease substantially. But in the meantime, will all intercontinental travelers have to endure a quarantine? For how long? Hours? Days?

Even if test methods do become more effective, trustworthy and results arrive faster, I still think there will likely be at least a few hours, maybe even days of quarantine for all arrivals. And who’s going to pay for this? Airport authorities? Local or state governments? Will the extra cost be added to your airline ticket? Will a chain of quarantine hotels pop up to accommodate imposed isolation demands? Questions, questions.

I can foresee an even wider divide between the world’s haves and have nots emerging once this virological tsunami has receded. A gaping divide between the affluent and the strugglers. Which will inevitably perpetuate financial and ethnic prejudice and possibly result in societal upheaval, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

On the brighter side, this virus could be the trigger that forces us to reset and take the bitter medicine we all really need. It might just give us time to reevaluate, recalibrate and redesign what is important in life and that which is worth pursuing.

Obviously, the mess we’re in right now is, at least to a degree, symptomatic of a how putting a blind eye to all the apparent meteorological indicators proves we need a course correction. That we can no longer expect the planet to absorb our arrogant goals where achieving material wealth at any cost is virtuous and where sustainability is really just smartly packaged marketing fluff.