The mural is not quite finished yet – Building a Picture. But it’s close to being done. We are also close to being done with our lockdown. On Monday, we can meet up under the Rule of Six regs again, and outdoors sports resume. I’ve got a tennis court booked for Wednesday. Two weeks later, shops and outdoor hospitality reopens. May 17th sees indoor hospitality returning along with, perhaps, international travel. In mid June, we will, hopefully, be mostly back to normal.
Any remaining restrictions are likely to be light. Vaccine passports for use domestically seems awfully unlikely to me. Providing there are very low rates of infection, then I suspect any further regulations on social distancing and mask wearing will simply be ignored into irrelevance. This, I suppose, is the best case scenario.
I’ve pondered what a plausible worst case scenario might look like. I would suggest that this scenario would only require the virus to continue mutating sufficiently to evade new vaccines. Some mutations will be more transmissible, some less so. Some will be a bit more deadly, others less so. Some years, the virus will take ten million souls off to the next world. Other years it’ll be a few tens of millions.
Eventually, a perfect storm will brew. A highly transmissible variant with a deadlier infection fatality rate will strike a global population that is economically broken, weakened through repeat infections, complacent in response. Exhausted health services will collapse before the first wave has barely gotten underway. Over a couple of years, waves of the newest variant could put a billion bodies in the ground. Maybe two.
I am, of course, speculating. Wild, morbid speculation at that. But I’m not suggesting anything that the plague and smallpox haven’t done before. Still. I strongly suspect that reality will be much closer to the best case scenario than the worst. Cross your fingers.