Somewhere in the area of twenty two years ago I watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager. I remember being a fan of the first two Star Trek series Original and Next Generation but except for a few memorable episodes, Voyager never settled into my fading TV viewing habits at the time.
In the Voyage series there was a hologram doctor on the crew who appeared when call upon in an emergency or time of need. Like Pinocchio, the doctor wanted to be more than just a hologram or a wooden puppet. He wanted to be human or at the minimum a full time hologram so he could walk around the ship like any real person. The doctor was very analytical and by the book if I remember correctly. He lacked compassion and empathy. He saw his human patients as wimpy babies, always complaining about their various aches, pains and ills.
His nurse told him he could not possible know how a simple illness or pain could affect the human body because he was a hologram and did not experience the health issues of humans. The doctor was positive he could endure an illness better than a wimpy human. To prove his point he injected himself with a common cold virus to last for five days. During the five day period the doctor continued with his normal routines and upbeat spirits. On the six when the illness did not just end as programed he began to experience the symptoms and displeasures of his illness more and by the tenth day his behavior was no different than the wimpy humans he treated and complained about.
He was at his wits end when his nurse explained to him that she had altered his injected illness for an indeterminate amount of time. “We can survive anything when we know it will end at a particular day or time. It it the uncertainty of when and if the illness will end which adds to out increased anxiety and frustration and the symptoms of the illness itself.” The doctor understood. He now knew why compassion was needed in the treatment of his patients.
I use this story to highlight the world’s situation with the CoVid-19 virus. Governments should not have give a specific time period for things to get back to normal and for the isolation to end. They created a false expectation in the minds of the citizens of a specific ending date. Now small groups are calling for the isolation quarantine to end at a very unsafe time according to medical leaders.
The virus is not going to “one day just disappear” as Donald Trump proclaimed. No virus ever has. It will continue to exist as all other viruses still exist. We will, hopefully, find a cure for those infected or a vaccine to prevent the infection from occurring, but the virus itself will always exist in some form either as a mutated strain of the CoVid-19 virus or as a completely new strain.
All we can do is improve our communication of outbreaks between nations and be better stockpiled with the medical necessities in the future. Hopefully we will learn from this experience but with the short attention span of our citizenry and governments, I doubt it. They have already forgotten the Spanish Flu started in January 1918 and continued to kill and infect massive numbers of people worldwide through December 1920. (36 months) The CoVid-19 virus has only been of the world for less than four months so far and it has by no means ended.
(The President of Ecuador has called for business to reopen on May 04, 2020 in eight days. In my opinion this is too soon but we will see.)