Jeff Digre, Pharmacist, continues,
"Early on I worried most about getting sick and infecting my family. But as our society has moved through the pandemic and we continue to learn more about the virus, my worries have changed. My worry has shifted from a personal fear of the virus, to a fear of human behavior. Human behavior is often predictable, or even inevitable, and as a result human history often repeats itself.
We know how to slow the spread of a respiratory illness and save thousands of lives, but I fear that our ability to stay vigilant will wane and that we will repeat the mistakes of the past. The most important questions to ask right now pertain to mitigating the next wave. When temperatures decline in the fall, people will interact indoors and transmission will increase. Are we prepared for the testing, tracing and isolating that will be required to prevent another surge of deaths? How can we educate the public about their own behavior, and how can we prepare our society to mitigate the risks of predictable human behavior? These questions need to be answered in June, not August or September.
At a very high level, I think nations will learn from this experience and be better prepared for pandemics and national emergencies in the future. My hope is that in America there will also be a renewed focus on universal health insurance and universal sick leave. My hope is that leaders will also put a renewed focus on fighting chronic disease. Chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular disease have made America particularly susceptible to the pandemic.
On an individual level, I think some people will make personal changes as a result of the pandemic: I think people will take a greater interest and responsibility for their own personal health, will take more seriously what medical professionals say, and will reject the anti-intellectualism that has captured so many hearts and minds in recent history. These good things will happen if we continue to advocate for accountability and truth from our leaders, and continue to grow as leaders in our communities."