#covid19 – A few personal reflections about COVID-19

I have been trying to write about the effect of the COVID-19 for more than a month now, but never got around to do it. To begin with, as for many, the complete rearrangement of my daily like left very little time for anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself and my family among the lucky ones. My job is (so far) secure and can be carried out from home, and we have a small yard to play and release the stress of the day. Like many people, though, with two elementary-school kids suddenly at home and working remotely, we had to become expert, from one day to the next, of any possible software imaginable. Many parents these days have nightmares about Zoom, Edmodo, BrainPop, and MS Teams, just to mention a few. Our life has become like the preparation for a NASA mission. We start on Sunday night by printing the schedule for everyone, cross-checking them to make sure we have all resources available, and crossing our fingers that the internet band is good enough (we often have to run up three Zoom meetings at the same time).

If all this sounds familiar it is because this is the new normal in the age of COVID-19 and I am just describing the life of many people, or at least the lucky ones. And this is the second reason I haven’t been able to write this piece until now. What good advice could I really give to those that are not quite as lucky? Those that have lost their job, or worse, that are personally fighting the physical of the coronavirus on themselves or loved ones? I wish I had something smart and insightful to say, but I am really out of words. I’d rather leave that to the experts that are on the frontline of the fight against the COVID-19, the heroes that are out there fighting every day for all of us, and all I have left to offer are support and prayers.

Today, though, we finally see a glimmer of hope. Our society is slowly reopening, we are allowed outside, with proper precautions, and many people are going back to work. It will take months, if not years before we go back to something that resembles the normal, and we may need the development of a vaccine before it happens, but at least we have started, I hope, our journey to recovery. So, why am I writing this now? Because this is probably the most delicate phase of the recovery and we should not screw it up! I know we are all frustrated and eager to go back to life before COVID-19, but we are not there yet, far from it! Let’s make sure we don’t go back instead of moving forward. So, as much as we want to get to the end of this as quickly as possible, let’s remember Aesop’s fable of the Tortoise and the Hare… sometimes slow and steady gets you to the finish line sooner than if you try to start too fast! And let’s listen to the real experts!

 

By Massimiliano Galeazzi, Secretary of Miami Scientific Italian Community and
Professor and Associate Chair of Physics Department, University of Miami

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