Helen Lee Schifter, the former Wall Street Arbitrage trader and former editor of Conde Nast and Hearst writes a lot about things such as tea ceremonies to bring balance into people’s lives.
However, as she knows, as do millions, one of the factors most disturbing worldwide has been the COVID 19 pandemic. So the question is, how do we adjust back to normalcy? She has some thoughts.
First, there will never be a sense of normalcy until at least 70 to 85 percent of the population IS fully vaccinated for the vaccine.
Right now, only around 37 percent of people in the United States have been fully vaccinated. And compared to much of the rest of the world that is pretty good. Israel right now is the most vaccinated country in the world with around 57% of the country fully vaccinated. Germany, Spain, and Italy are further behind, and countries such as Brazil, Mexico, India and Russia are woefully behind.
Although there are huge efforts to expand production, many experts believe it will be well into 2022 before the majority of the countries in the world will have enough vaccines to fully inoculate the majority of the world’s population.
What Are the Markers of a Return to Normalcy?
One of those markers is of course the wearing of face masks. In the United States, as more and more people become vaccinated, the CDC has said that people can go without masks as long as they have been vaccinated and are not in near contact with a lot of strangers.
This summer, those who have been fully vaccinated from the U.S. will be welcome as tourists to most European countries. What is not clear however, is whether the airlines that fly them to Europe, or back, will require passengers to wear masks. Masks, it seems, whether, in schools, sporting events, or airline travel may well be the primary marker for whether we have really returned to normality,
Ms. Schifter, who by the way, has fastidious hygiene suggests that one of the primary lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic is having fastidious hygiene. Hand washing, with both soap and water as well as with alcohol, are essential practices that were wise practice even before the pandemic but are now at the forefront of prevention. Also, avoid touching your face and be sure and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing are essential.
Another concern, say many psychologists, is a gradual return to normalcy. Do not feel, they say, that as social distancing rules are relaxed that you need to catch up with every friend and loved one all at once. Gradually work into it, they advise.
The bigger question, of course, is what happens if the majority of COVID-19 is tackled, but in 2022 and beyond there are strains that keep popping up for many years? Will we have lockdowns then, or will we just learn to live with COVID-19, just as we have learned to live with diseases such as cancer. As always, Helen Lee Schifter says to handle what comes into the future with grace.