Coronavirus: Five Reasons To Feel Optimistic

5. We know a lot more about our vulnerabilities and how to manage them

Individual countries are learning by doing. In the UK, we will continue to adapt and flex to the “new normal”. Modification of the social distancing policy needs to happen while also being informed by reliable knowledge about how much any change might tend to push the R0 figure back up towards 1.

Costs and benefits

Balancing all this against the disadvantages of social distancing for vulnerable people and the economy will always be a hard, morally based choice. It will involve adaptive management – learning about what works by experimenting with different methods – and patience. But it will also need to involve open debate about where the moral balance lies between costs and benefits.

This debate needs to be informed by the fundamental success we are experiencing and will not be enhanced by mudslinging. The rising ambient noise of criticism from leader writers and political editors, and the tendency to emphasise the bad over the good, seems strangely at odds with the story lying in the bigger picture and the correct moral posture in these challenging times.


The Conversation


Ian Boyd, Professor of Biology, University of St Andrews

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

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

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