I'm not talking states, nations, counties or cities and the laws and restrictions they are imposing to stop the spread of the coronavirus, I'm talking about each one of us as individual humans. There are weekend days where I eat out for all three meals. It's not common, but it happens. I think the most takeout meals I've had in a week recently is three times. Other previously normal things, going into an office with 40 people. Going to church with 100 people. Going to a ski resort with who knows how many people, 1000? Sometimes I go to densely packed concerts or bars. Or at least I used to.
So what do we do individually to open up and return to socializing?
This weekend, I had dinner with two friends, who are both younger and in good health. It's the first time in over a month any of us has had dinner with anyone. We explicitly said we weren't sick, or hadn't been sick, as far as we knew. It wasn't an implicit agreement that there was a risk to seeing each other, we said it out loud. So for me, I think that's how I'm personally going to open up. Part of opening up will be going back into work, like sheep to the slaughter. But the part where it's my choice, those will be hikes and climbs and dinner with friends. No, I doubt I will go to restaurants when they open. I doubt I will be the first to go sing at church. I'm afraid to be too close to people or around large groups of any size.
In addition to my little social outings, I plan to space them out. In other words, while I could possibly hang out with four different little groups of one or two people over a weekend, I'm not going to do that. I may be contagious as I write this. That's the challenge, we just don't know, and you can't really get a test until you are sick and it's too late you've already spread it. So basically it's like hang out with A1, then hang out with J and K, and then wait a week before any more socializing. It's going to be that way for awhile. Church in particular scares me. Why? Everyone is over 50! They're just more likely to get really sick and die. When I see that 31% of people over 80 in Colorado who test positive die, that's a huge number!
We have to strike a balance. The world is not risk free. I don't think we can ask everyone to stay home except for going to the grocery store once a week, for six months without causing a host of other mental health problems, or even delayed care for other physical health issues that scares people away from going to the doctor. And, frankly, with 3 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide, we're not going to stamp it out this year. It will continue circulating, somewhere in the world until we reach herd immunity either through lots of sickness and death or a vaccine or most likely both. We need to be safe and keep our distance, but also let our loved ones know we love them. Finally, we need to be responsible and not put anyone at undue risk, and when we inevitably do get sick, be as clear as possible about others that might be sick too.