The United States now is the official epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
We have more deaths and more cases of disease than anywhere else in the world.
However, this past weekend the experts began to give us a glimmer of hope that we are turning the tide against this dreaded foe and the possibility that our lives may return to some semblance of normality in incremental steps within 30-60 days.
We are the first to concede that there are many “ifs” to any discussion of ending the shutdown of the U.S. economy and the present lockdown mandates currently in place throughout most of the nation. A vast increase in testing in order to identify both virus carriers and those who may have immunity will be essential before we can begin to emerge meaningfully from our life of quarantine.
It also is clear that even with some sort easing of the lockdowns, life still will be far from normal: Schools most likely will remain closed for the rest of this school year, professional sports will not take place anytime soon, public gatherings of all kinds will be banned, and the travel industry will continue to be in a state of non-existence indefinitely.
But the experts’ insights about the possibility of some degree of easing of our current situation brought to mind the famous words of Winston Churchill amidst the worst days of World War II when Nazi Germany’s advance had been stopped by England with the defeat of Rommel at El Alamein:
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Our war against the coronavirus still has a long way to go. But with the outbreaks and death toll dropping in many places around the world, including New York City, perhaps we can see a pinhole of light in the long, dark tunnel in which we find ourselves.