Finding the ‘New Normal’ Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Dr. Rebecca Genuis and MP Garnett Genuis

We are all doing the best we can in the moment to fight COVID-19, but in the medium- and long-term we are going to need broader and deeper cultural and policy changes to fight this virus and to fight other potential future pandemics.

Preserving the current paradigm indefinitely will not be sufficiently effective against the virus and will also do unnecessary damage to our economy. New approaches, adopted from Asian democracies like South Korea and Taiwan that have more experience fighting pandemics, will go a long way to keeping us safer while helping us move back toward something a little more like normal life—or at least a “new normal.”

Our current approach to fighting this pandemic emphasizes general isolation. With a limited supply of masks and limited testing, this is the only way. It is not enough for only those who have the virus to isolate themselves and for people to take general precautions when out and about, because many do not have access to testing or the means to protect themselves. In the absence of alternatives, general isolation is appropriate. So we should definitely all stay home as much as possible for the time being.

In an ideal response, though, people could still leave their homes, but everyone would have access to and be encouraged to wear protective masks in most situations when out and about. Perhaps we could even wear disposable gloves. Certainly, everyone would continue to be encouraged to regularly wash their hands. Anyone who thought they might be exposed to the virus would get tested immediately and get the results immediately. This way, those who had the virus would know right away and could stay away from others. In the event of errors in awareness or testing (with a negative result not meaning a certainty that a person is negative) masks, gloves, and hand-washing would still greatly limit transmission. When a case is discovered, those who had been in contact with or in the same areas as that person could be immediately notified and immediately tested.

Originally published in The Epoch Times. To continue reading, click here.