A FEW UNSCIENTIFIC PREDICTIONS
Open up! Stay closed! Wear a mask! Don’t dare tell me what to do! Social distance! Play volleyball on the beach! Things are better! Things are worse! Don’t believe the president! Don’t believe the health officials! Don’t believe the governor or the mayor!
Here we are in May, 2020 during the most enigmatic and bewildering time in our lives. Many of you who read this are in the United States, but others are scattered across the globe. Things differ in various places, but whether we live in San Antonio or Singapore or Saskatchewan, the fear and uncertainty are there.
While many brave souls risked their lives to protect us and keep the world running, millions more sheltered in place for days that became weeks and months. While PM Boris Johnson caught the virus, President Trump chose not to wear a mask. Today, some politicians paint rosy pictures while health officials in those countries strongly disagree.
Here are a few predictions for the future. My guess is no better than yours, but it will be interesting (for me at least) to look back two, four or six months from now and see where things are.
A few things are certain, which makes life even more uncertain.
- People are social animals. We don’t like being cooped up; we want to go places, even if it’s just the gas station and we have to wear a mask and gloves. Some are rebels who will flaunt rules designed to keep us safe. Social distancing works. It’s a no-brainer, but we’re itching to get out, sit on a patio and order a cocktail or a beer. It’s just how we’re wired. Prediction: more and more of us will venture out as the warm summer weather arrives in our part of the world. Will it create a second wave of cases? Probably.
- Professional and collegiate sports are important. It’s surprising how you take things for granted, and how scary it is when you consider not having them any more. Right now, nobody knows what’s going to happen to MLB, the NFL and college football. Can you imagine 100,000 fans jammed shoulder-to-shoulder in a massive stadium? Two months ago it was something to look forward to. Today it causes most of us to wonder if it’s safe, and how it could be done. Are we going to lose our beloved Yankees, Raiders, Sooners, Chiefs, Angels and Buckeyes? How will sports survive without the millions of dollars of revenue the games and broadcasts generate? Soon we’ll find out. Prediction: what happens in 2020 will be anything but business as usual.
- Nobody knows how best to deal with this virus. Some countries with strong military-based governments locked cities down and jailed anyone who didn’t obey. Others issued mandatory orders or non-mandatory guidelines. Many people complied with shelter-in-place orders, wore masks and gloves outdoors, and socially distanced themselves. A few countries left things wide open, apparently believing if the herd got infected, immunity would be faster and easier to achieve.
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we’ll eventually learn which method was right. Or we may learn that no method was right – no matter what we did, things got worse. Or better. Many of you reading this are in the USA, where we have a national election just over five months from now. Will the virus play a part in deciding who wins? Will we vote by mail? Will the way Trump handled things be a factor in whether he is re-elected? Prediction: Don’t look to me for answers on this one!