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Day 28: Calculated Risks

Last week, provincial governments started to release COVID-19 projections. Some of those were grim, and people wondered why the federal government was not offering an overview of the whole country. The most likely reason was that they didn't want to induce panic or despair. Twice, the prime minister informed us that current lockdown restrictions would not be lifted before there is a vaccine available. The first time I heard this, I could not believe it. In the best-case scenario, a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 might be 18 months away. We know that it takes years to develop vaccines, they need to be tested, their efficacy has to be shown, they have to be approved... Nothing prepared me for the anguish of imagining that scenario. Locked in, enforcing social distancing for 18 months. I would not be able to hug anyone but Tessa, even if we could spend time with friends, we would be forced to be apart.

I'm a physical person. I show and like to receive it by touching and hugging. This has been an issue living in North America, where people are much more distant and reluctant to touch each other. In Venezuela, people kissed just to say hello (pretty much like in France, Italy or Spain). In Argentina, even men kiss each other. During a 2019 meeting, I was forced to talk about some challenging personal issues. My friend Edward was sitting next to me. As I spoke of painful matters, Edward bent to kiss my forearm and grabbed my hand. He gave me the courage to recount things I would rather forget. With his gesture, I felt supported and looked after. Touch is fundamental for me. Imagine, then, my despair at Prime Minister's announcement. The sole idea that I might not be able to touch another human being (besides my daughter) for, at least, the next 18 months is horrendous. I have another worry: what would happen if, even after there is a vaccine, the culture shifts even more towards the no-contact side. How can we survive if we cannot touch others? Will we still be human then?

10:20 pm:

Canada cases 24,380

Deaths 711

Recoveries 7172

World cases 1,850,527

World deaths 114,245

World recoveries 430,455


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