Venturing into the unknown is a driver of uncertainty. When we stick with the familiar by definition we know what to expect. I’ve been surprised that the uniqueness of COVID hasn’t had more prominence in the media. More civilians have died of the virus in Britain than from any other cause in living memory. And we are a very long way indeed from being free of the plague.
Denial is a common response to threat and to fear. A minority response maybe, but far from uncommon. Commentators with national platforms became instant COVID experts overnight spouting denial and/or conspiracy theories, or some did. The human instinct to believe what we want to believe was all around. Ignorance of the subject was not a restraint – we have been very selective in what we choose to believe and to say.
The thing about experts is that they don’t always agree with one another. If you look around you can find an “expert” who will give you comforting reassurance (or fear-inducing concern !) on almost anything. Add in the fact that in Britain and the United States at the beginning of the pandemic there were heads of Government who were culpably wrong in everything they initially said and criminally neglectful in delaying action.
Truth has many faces and most of us are not scientists so we cannot validate what we are told by those who are. My personal response has been caution, it still is. To effectively quarantine myself has not been that difficult – there has been no pressure of any sort on me to return to “normality” ! I’m conscious both that I’m privileged and that I’m in danger of being complacent. Look at the above graph which is self-explanatory. Will vaccination really mean we avoid an autumn/winter upturn in COVID fatalities ?
We are, I think, venturing into the unknown again. There is clearly a correlation between ambient temperature and COVID deaths – has that cause and effect been broken? I can be accused of pessimism and of course I hope that my fears are unfounded. The truth is that eighteen months into the pandemic we just don’t know.