There have been less than 100 new cases of coronavirus each day for the last two days, the first time the figures have been that low since this time in March, shortly after this whole thing started.
As of today, we’re allowed to go to hardware stores (we’re not actually going, because it seems crazy on the first day), and to meet in isolated groups from different households a few metres apart.
It’s starting to feel like things are on the turn, if not necessarily anywhere close to an ending, then at least progressing towards things being just that little bit better. Of course, that comes with the fear that the changes lead to far more widespread infection, and things pick up again.
The hardest thing about all this is probably that it’s indefinite. There are certain things you start ‘waiting’ for, from social drinks, to doing some work that involves a proper level of collaboration, in a normal office, to being able to return to swimming pools, for example, or football matches (those last two seem, sadly, a very, very long way off).
Predictably, there are campaigns against any level of shutdown. I think it stems in part from a certain group of people being absolutely convinced anything a government does must be wrong, regardless of what it is. There are huge conspiracy theories, which in my opinion fall utterly flat for the very obvious reason that getting all world governments to collaborate and act in largely comparable ways simply won’t happen, they disagree fundamentally. Plus, these are clearly a lot of people dying, and these type of people see a conspiracy in whatever is happening, regardless of what it is.
It was said at the start of all this that a measure of the success would be that it wouldn’t look like all the measures were necessary in the first place, and that rings true to me. It’s obvious that when you’ve reduced the number of people with a potentially very deadly virus, and the number of deaths are coming down, and peoples lives are severally impacted in terms of freedom and income and stuff like that, they’re going to jump to “look, everything is fine,” but everything isn’t fine and wouldn’t be even close to fine if a huge number of us had this virus.
In all probability, given the issues with hospital capacity, we’d be looking at losing 1% of the population, by all accounts. As it is, there are thought to be around 3,000 active cases in Ireland, though obviously that doesn’t include undetected cases.
As for us? We’re fine, for now. We have food, and drinks and a modest amount of entertainment and the capacity to do our work, and it’s monotonous and frustrating, especially for a six-year-old, but that’s all it is. Our slightly expanded horizons, with the 5km limit, have given me more room to go running and Adam some nicer parks to enjoy.
It remains to be seen if we’re over the hump, and what the fall out might be later on, economically and politically, but right now, the lull could be a lot worse, and we plough on.