Post-COVID: unbridled euphoria or prudence?
The end of the restrictive measures caused by the pandemic is approaching. The gradual rise causes the streets, restaurants, and tourist areas to be filled with people. The desire to return to a life like the one before the COVID-19 is palpable.
The arrival of good weather and the gradual opening of shared spaces and the thickening of meeting groups smell of recovering the life we had before the outbreak of the pandemic. But what will this return be like? Will it be a burst of euphoria or will it be controlled?
Euphoria or prudence?
These are questions that everyone asks. Some people respond with more optimism and believe that the end of the restrictions will cause uncontrolled euphoria and most people will take to the streets to recover the moments of meeting and leisure that they had to sacrifice as a result of the health situation. Others, however, look at it with more caution and say that one must learn from the situation experienced, that one must take it easy and even make a paradigm shift when establishing our values in life. Both views have effects on the economic and social evolution of the globalised world we have created. Because society wonders if the situation has been due to the lifestyle and economy so far or has been random. Depending on the answer given, we will celebrate it in one way or another.
It is in this sense that some sectors most affected by the restrictions, such as tourism, leisure, and catering, which have to do with recovering the past lifestyle, look to the end with a double sense of euphoria and prudence, because they are not sure what the reaction of society will be. And this feeling of uncertainty is aggravated, too, by the ignorance of what the final evolution of the pandemic will be, because we must remember that it seems to pass, but it is not 100% eradicated.
It is clear that the data that are being published on the evolution of the disease indicate that we are on the right track. Vaccination and responsible behaviour of most people who continue to follow the directions of distance, hand cleaning, and mask use, is opening up a hopeful vision for the future.
As always, individual responsibility is key to successfully coping with the future that awaits us. Uncertainty still looms over us and makes it impossible for us to discern clearly what our reaction as a society will be when it is announced that this nightmare is over. Will we react like the society of the 1920s, with unbridled euphoria, to celebrate the end of the First World War and the Spanish fever pandemic? Will we have the reaction of some East German citizens when the Berlin Wall fell? These, at first, took it with joy and euphoria, but then fell into some kind of depression due to the consequences of having been so many years under a dictatorship that had them watched and controlled.
The reaction of each of us will be what will determine the overall style of celebrating the end of a situation that we did not expect or had anticipated. But how will we do it, with unbridled euphoria or with prudent euphoria?