Pandemic board game

- by David McLeish

We must now plan for living in pandemic times.

Many reference the Spanish flu of 1918, suggesting that once this is ‘over,’ we might enjoy another 122 years before the next pandemic. Not so. Scientists have been warning us that our fun loving, globe trotting days were numbered. Indeed, had we cared to look, there has been abundant evidence that we need to change our ways. HIV/AIDS (~30 million deaths) should have been a wake up call, but too many people bought into the propaganda that it was about ‘them,’ not us. Since then, SARS, the ‘United States’ Swine Flu, MERS, and Ebola have, like HIV/AIDS after shocks, been offering continual warnings. At best it is only a matter of time before the next novel virus surfaces.

We need to start thinking about what kills this virus and the others to follow, how we can adapt to pandemic times. High temperatures, cold, dry conditions, chemical fogs, what can we use to manage this creature? We need to start working on these questions now. This will not be a few weeks or months or a year for that matter, before everything will return to normal. Normal has changed.

What we need to do now is determine our priorities and then develop systems that will enable us to move forward in the least disruptive means possible. Think of libraries. We may no longer have the luxury of wandering the stacks or perusing the shelves, but libraries are a vital institution. Perhaps you will now select your book online and pick it up at a window, comforted by the assurance that it was disinfected when it was last returned. Public meeting places need to be designed with surfaces that are not conducive to viral survival.

Perhaps your local retailer will simply turn the heat up to 30oC overnight to kill viruses so that you can shop in relative viral free comfort the next morning. Or, have we found the purpose of the digital age. As we have been doing for some time now, much of our business will be done virtually. Travel restrictions have been in place in some sectors (e.g. government) for some time now, so perhaps now business will be run like more like government.

Artists and the National Arts Centre #CanadaPerforms have already begun offering live performances online. Cut out the middleman.

The sooner we start working on this the sooner we can embrace our new normal.






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