Coronavirus: Five Reasons To Feel Optimistic

If that had not happened in the UK and elsewhere, then the current problems with PPE, ventilators and hospital beds, not to mention the personal suffering, would have been minuscule by comparison. Instead, our hospitals are broadly operating within capacity, even if there have been pinch points in various places at particular times.

2. This has been achieved by us all abandoning our way of life temporarily

This may not seem like something that is positive, but given the deep divisions that exist within UK society – most profoundly illustrated throughout Brexit – it is remarkable to have witnessed this unity of action that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.

I do not think any behavioural scientists would have predicted just how much we have all pulled together to get on top of this disease. The rapid transition to a strategy of social distancing has been an immense success even if it has been tough going.

File:Social distancing queueing for the supermarket J. Sainsbury's north London Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic - 30 March 2020.jpg

Observing social distancing and lockdown conditions has been widely supported by the UK public. 

3. We now know a lot more about how to manage this disease

For a virus we never knew existed five months ago, thanks to a huge effort to collect data behind the scenes, we now know it almost molecule by molecule. However much we may wish for a vaccine and useful tests, we have methods to control COVID-19 that we now know can work.

We also know a lot more about the kind of challenges there are ahead. For example, we can predict a winter resurgence of disease. Troublesome though it may be, we can, if we have the will to do so, keep COVID-19 under control even without a vaccine and testing. That is no small achievement.

4. We have learned how to act in unison at a massive, global scale

The global response to the significant problem of COVID-19 has been remarkable. It has averted a disaster for humanity and it suggests we do have the organisational ability to tackle the really big problems facing people and the planet.

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This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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