Covid is a required graduate course for some adults still in elementary school

by Bob Schwartz

I have read a lot about Covid in the past year, both about its presence in my community, state and nation, and about its science. And why not? It is not only a defining event in our lives, but an epochal one in modern history. Above all, shaping our behavior to meet the moment seems a sound way to get through this.

One thing you realize is that this is not easy to understand. Besides all the unknowns still to be determined, grasping the basic concepts can be a challenge. Things like “testing”, “vaccine efficacy and effectiveness” and “herd immunity” are thrown around almost blithely, as if everyone understands all the nuances in meaning.

Except it isn’t everyone, or even most people. Early on I noted that you could not understand the pandemic if you didn’t understand the basic concept of exponential growth, and many people probably do not get the idea of exponential growth. And exponents are hardly the most complex of Covid core concepts.

One thing that began to be said and can’t be said too often: Covid doesn’t care. It doesn’t care about politics or ideology or beliefs or understandable frustration. The only things that matter are understanding Covid as well as possible and conscientiously taking actions based on that understanding. Understanding doesn’t necessarily require earning a degree in Covid science. But an effective response will be aided by something besides know-it-all attitudes followed by careless or contrary action. Maybe we allow children to skip classes and fail to learn because they are children. If we are adults, we should recognize the learning required to work through the most difficult challenges, or face the consequences. Which in the case of Covid, have been and will be dire.