Recommended reading: The return to "normal"

Since the mysterious so-called "ReopenNC" movement and Civitas has been pressing the issue with Governor Cooper, it's time for a reality check.

Just what will it mean to get back to "normal"? When will it happen? What can "normal" look like?

The Atlantic gives an opinion on what to expect, informed by scientists and researchers and not social media memes and political slogans.

As I wrote last month, the only viable endgame is to play whack-a-mole with the coronavirus, suppressing it until a vaccine can be produced. With luck, that will take 18 to 24 months. During that time, new outbreaks will probably arise. Much about that period is unclear, but the dozens of experts whom I have interviewed agree that life as most people knew it cannot fully return. “I think people haven’t understood that this isn’t about the next couple of weeks,” said Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota. “This is about the next two years.”

The pandemic is not a hurricane or a wildfire. It is not comparable to Pearl Harbor or 9/11. Such disasters are confined in time and space. The SARS-CoV-2 virus will linger through the year and across the world. “Everyone wants to know when this will end,” said Devi Sridhar, a public-health expert at the University of Edinburgh. “That’s not the right question. The right question is: How do we continue?”



I had an online meeting yesterday

This was my first, and we used WebEx to do it. I'm on Burlington's "Public Transit Advisory Commission" (PTAC), and we discussed, at length, the four-year anniversary of Link Transit in early June. Every year we do a one-week free fare thing at that time, but this year the Commission approved everything but the date we will actually run the free fare week. Gonna play it by ear, but it may be postponed until after Summer.

Also, it was really weird seeing everybody at home. But it was also strangely uplifting, for some reason. Shared sacrifice? Hell, I don't know. I was tempted to put on my mask and say, "Haven't y'all heard about computer viruses?" But I haven't tested their senses of humor well enough yet, so...


Humor is tricky online, for sure. Jane does at least one Zoom call a day, and I listen in regularly. Jokes often fall flat.