The voices calling that lockdowns are a violation of liberties have exploded. Over the last few weeks, and as the novel coronavirus spread across America, where the voices have been particularly loud, there have been many more of those that demand to go back to work and social life.
But, should you want, at all, to get out?
An underplayed tune in the general COVID-19 discussion has been that no one, not even the world’s top scientists, knows exactly what this virus and disease do to our bodies. Let us repeat this so that we can drive the point forward: No one has the full story just yet.
Risk analysis only works if you know the full extent of consequences.
So, before calling for total re-opening and “freedom”, it’s important to remember, when risking contracting the extremely contagious disease, that Medicine, at large, doesn’t know:
- If people can spread the virus through sexual contact.
- If pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the disease.
- How long does immunity last, and if reinfection is more dangerous than first-time cases.
- What kind of immunity can you develop to the virus (if there is even such immunity).
- If there are further consequences to the Kawasaki-syndrome-like symptoms that infected children exhibit.
- What are the long-term dysfunctionalities and consequences those affected might suffer
It is certainly easy to call for a re-opening of society with the economic pressure caused by the virus. However, by doing so, we set out to take risks without knowing their full consequences. Even in the case of good results, that is the equivalent of excitedly playing Russian Roulette just because you might win.
Cap your downside, protect the upside.
When in doubt, use the Stoic philosophy Venn diagram.
By stressing that any decision in current times is the byproduct of incomplete information, we don’t aim to generate panic. We know that around the globe, people are suffering from the sudden disruption of their lives and routines.
If you do need to resume something close to your daily routine, make sure you wear a mask and follow all the safety guidelines. Make sure you use this as an opportunity to diversify your skills and transition yourself to the online world, which will become an even greater component of our daily lives. And, of course, make sure to protect others.
But, above everything else, remember: When not knowing enough, expect the best while preparing for the worst.