COVID-19: The world looks ahead

Please note: The current Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic is fast moving, and reactions to it seem to update not just day-by-day but minute-by-minute. Obviously, this site was not designed to bring you the very latest developments in a ‘breaking news’ story such as this. Instead, this site will continue to include news and opinions relating to major events, policy changes, and so on.


Typically, today marks the end of the holiday season in the northern hemisphere where many countries virtually shutdown for the month of August as the nation goes on holiday. In fact, the only businesses geared to trading well are those in, or allied to, tourism and the holiday market.

Icovid-19n most of the UK, today is one of its national public holidays, quaintly known as bank holidays. It is not because it is the last day of the last day in August, that is just a coincidence. This is because the late summer bank holiday, to use its full name, is on the last Monday in August. Last year, for example, it fell on the 25th.

It is usually the time to look back at summer vacations and anticipate, with excitement and some trepidation, the start of the new school year, going to university, or maybe returning to work.

I say ‘usually’ as 2020 is about as far from usual as it gets. Those regarded as being at risk from the COVID-19 coronavirus, which includes me on four counts including multiple sclerosis, are still being told to take care

The pandemic continues to ravage the world and even places thought to be past the worse, and planning some relaxation of lockdown rules, have seen a resurgence of the number of cases.

I had warned it was too early to ease restriction and, unfortunately, was right. Now we are seeing some governments delaying efforts “to return to a new normal” while others, like the UK, seem to be determined to carry on regardless of the consequences.

Waiting game

In the US, the COVID-19 response has been far from national, with each of its 50 states making its own decision. Some locked down, some didn’t, Three lockdown states started to relax their restrictions as urged by President Donald Trump. However. those three states, of California, Texas, and Florida, stopped or reversed their plans when faced with rises in the numbers of new cases.

So what now?

It seems to be a waiting game in which we find out whether the decisions to reopen schools and universities was wise or foolhardy.

The jury is still out on that. I truly hope it proves wise, but I fear it is foolish.

covid-19Talking of the so-called ‘new normal’, what exactly is, it? Sure, I understand that we are going to face some new requirements, some revised ways of doing things but as yet we don’t know what or how.

The powers that be, and their scientific advisers, need to stop talking in vague terms and start explaining precisely what they mean. We deserve to know.

And while I am on the subject, we cannot “return to a new normal”. It is literally impossible to return to anything new. If it is new, it is fresh to us. If we return to anything, it must have already existed and cannot be new.

Am I being pedantic? No, not at all. English, as a language, should be used and enjoyed, not abused by those supposedly educated enough to know better.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * is the personal website of Ian Franks. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. More recently, he was a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is for your general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Ian is not a doctor, so cannot and does not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Also, consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely his own unless otherwise stated.


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