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Opinions & Editorial 18 May, 2020 Follow News


Policemen wearing face masks, USA,1918


To say COVID-19 is a ‘game-changer’ falls far short of explaining the extent to which it already changing the global society.

From Cayman to London and beyond, the enormity of the adjustments to the way of life we have become accustomed - and aspire to is unimaginable.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is now saying that the virus could become embedded and we may just have to learn to live with it until a vaccine is developed.

But how do we co-exist with COVID-19 given the scale of the disruption to our way of life that demands.

The sheer scale of the public health and socio-economic crisis unleashed on the world by this pandemic will be the subject of detailed study and review a century from now, the same way we are now considering in awe the 1918 Spanish Flu.

While everyone speaks about ‘the new normal’ what we are faced with is ‘a new abnormal’.

While it’s said that COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate and is already showing evidence of mutating into other strains, it is clearly rolling back the rug and exposing many of the inequalities in our societies - even on the healthcare battlefront against the disease.

But there are other issues far less controversial but more immediate with even more far-reaching consequences.



• How do you organise schools?

• How you get young children to observe safe-distancing?

• How do you practice safe working in jobs and tasks that for health and safety reasons require two or more people?

• How do you organise and observe safe distancing on planes, trains, buses and coaches?

• How do you safe-distance in airport queues for arrivals and departures? How long will that take and how will affect travelling?

• How would that work on cruise ships, and what would that mean for the cruise industry?

• How do you practice safe distancing and observe other anti-COVID protocols in supermarkets and shops? How long would shopping take? How would that disrupt your ‘normal’ day schedule? How do you adjust? How do supermarkets and other public-facing businesses adjust?

• How do you safe-distance and observe other anti-COVID protocols in team sports?

• How do you arrange safe-distancing and control passionate fans and spectators in sports and entertainment venues? How would that impact venue capacity, attendance and gate receipts…and other costs such as players’ and staff wages?

• How do you practice, observe and enforce safe-distancing and observe other anti-COVID protocols at the beach and in other places of public gathering?

• How should police arrest and restrain suspects while observing safe-distancing and adhering to other anti-COVID protocols?

• How do we safeguard and compensate frontline workers?

• How do you safe-distance, observe other anti-COVID protocols and maintain family and friendships in private spaces such as inviting friends to your home? Should you even invite friends to your home?

• And what’s to become of handshakes, hugs and kisses?

This is but a short list. There’s much more to ponder not counting the imponderables.

Like wearing masks or other face coverings in our western societies, the necessity is now becoming a fashion statement as a way of coping.

But what about the ID and security implications in a CCTV world?

What’s certain, the way we interact as societies has changed…possibly forever.

In all of this, a major role is emerging for modern technology...as well as a return to some tried and true old-time ways of doing things.

COVID-19 is not just a game-changer, it’s a disruptor.

Innovators are needed as much as a vaccine.

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