In our case, "Post" Covid means that Shan and I both had it and were released from quarantine yesterday. Does this signal a huge sigh of relief?
Well, maybe, but, before I go into a short catalog of what "maybe" means, I'd like to make my first observation:
There are some fabulously lovely people out there. They range from long standing friends and family to quite recently acquired neighbours. In other words, we have had support, both moral and practical from points around the globe and from people living right there, just next-door. When it is sane and responsible to properly thank the neighbours it will be easy. We will have a monster bash, a post-Covid-19 party to remember.
We sincerely wish we could do the same for our remote benefactors, too. Indeed, when we travel again, we will do so with renewing hugs and acquaintances as a primary objective.
Why do I think that a huge sigh of relief may not yet be due?
From our perspective, we have not seen one shred of incontrovertible proof that anyone knows where all this will be heading. Even those who think they know where it is going are unable to furnish solid evidence that leads to that conclusion.
Here are a few headlines to ponder:
1. Antibodies - It does not appear that there is any clear evidence yet to indicate that, having tested positive for Covid-19, everyone is left with residual antibodies. Also, there is some speculation that, if there are antibodies in one's system, they may not last more than a few months.
2. Can you get it again? - Well, can you?
3. Vaccine - There have been some optimistic headlines but nothing yet as to whether it is sufficiently reliable and when it will be available for worldwide use
4. Herd immunity - That old chestnut. Can someone please explain to me how it will be successful without positive answers to 1, 2 and 3 above.
5. Foundation statistics - In the UK, NHS Test and Trace has been singularly unsuccessful in gathering these. How widespread is the pandemic, actually? We hear stories of minuscule probabilities of contracting it. Well, in anecdotis extremis, here's a personal example. In our spouse and sibling group spread over three continents, there are 8 adults and 7 direct progeny, i.e. 15 people in all. Of those, 5 tested positive for Covid-19, there was one highly probable false negative and one who almost definitely had it but was quarantined by association so didn't need a test. Just short of 50%. Accepting a huge "bad luck" factor, that is hardly a minuscule probability!
6. Failure to follow success to the end - When we seem to be getting somewhere, governments relax, potentially too early. Exponents of the "R" number reckon it being good news when it drops below one. Forgive me if I'm being naïve but doesn't that just mean the pandemic will continue at the same rate. Above that we see a growing number of people contracting the virus. Below that, the number should gradually drop off. How long would that take before everyone is safe? It's been below one before and now it's racing along above the magic threshold.
7. Circuit breaker (a.k.a. fire break) - Could have legs but would require incredible discipline across the populace who fear that the damage to businesses would be catastrophic and irreversible.
But what if we put a circuit breaker on cash flow at the same time. A forced vacation on EVERYTHING. Businesses shut their doors for a given period and all rent, mortgages, council tax etc. stops until they open again. There have been mortgage or insurance premium "holidays" but these come with a day of reckoning.
The only exception would need to be where actual goods change hands but, in the days of electronic payments, these are stats that can be paused, too.
8. Duration of a bout - Everything from an ephemeral day or so to several months if the anecdotal evidence (what else have we got) is to be believed.
9. A positive side-effect - I am told that in South Africa where they had one of the strictest lockdowns it was accompanied by not only qualified Covid-19 success but also a dramatic drop on the annual seasonal flu cases.
Conclusion: We're in this together, guys. It needs universal discipline to reverse the worldwide growth of the pandemic. If we can't do this ourselves, some body is going to have to do it for us by diktat.
Let's hope the virus won't be that body.