I act as if could have the virus

We now live in a different reality, and we are all very aware of this. The Corona pandemic has brought many changes and challenges to our society, and many wonder right now how we should guide our daily actions. I recognize the current level of information as confusing, and getting clear legal guidelines what is allowed, and what is not is next to impossible to me. All the while, the media is going into a frenzy due to rising numbers, which definetly is a reason for concern. However, there are also more and more stories emerging that highlight information about vaccines, treatments and all sorts of other details about the virus. Many people are tired of the situation, and I observe some behavior that I would consider to be careless. However, I perceive it as a great privilege that we can openly discuss the situation and find our own ways of what we consider the best course of action. I thus tried to take a step back and better understand the current situation. With numbers reaching levels from the early stages of the lockdown, I wanted to reevaluate the situation, and derive a code that guides my actions and behaviour. 

First of all, what is definitely different is that the caseload may be rising, but is better tamed. The ratio of positive to negative tests is lower than ever, with barely 1 % testing positive. This is a good thing, as it allows us to maintain spreads potentially better. In addition, the medical community gained experience in treatments, and the 17 Millionen people (and counting) people using the app in Germany certainly help. We are in a better situation than in spring, and if more people would use the app, it would be even better. It is now difficult to estimate if we can keep the high testing rate up, but testing and tracking will be the main tools on a higher level to contribute to diminishing the spread of the pandemic. Whether penalties are a helpful tool is a different story, on which I will not decide here. 

The general rules of how we ought to act did not change, I think. We should keep our distance, avoid larger meetings, wash our hands, wear masks, protect risk groups, strengthen our immune system through sport (and Vitamin D, maybe), and get a flu shot to prevent two diseases increasing at the same time. Very early in the pandemic, somebody suggested that we should all act as if we have the virus, and do not want others to get infected by us. To me, this is still the best suggestion I have heard so far. If we would all act this way, then the whole thing would be over rather soon. More importantly, through this behaviour we would do justice concerning our responsibility towards others, and would act as responsible citizens. I think we can go outside, meet other people at a distance, work in the office if we want to, and so on. It is important for many reasons that we try to return to a world that was once such a different normal. But all that always with the assumption that we may have the disease, and take the necessary steps to prevent an infection of others. To me, this is still the main baseline, because as soon as we begin to compromise and rationalize small risks, we simply increase the odds to get infected, and to subsequently infect others. I am in the privileged position to be able and minimize my interaction with other to virtually no interaction at all. For some people this is not possible, but I see my responsibility in acting as if I have the virus, and do not want to infect other. I think another privilege I have is that I can discuss this with my surrounding. The fact that we have certain rules in our country, but that we can also discuss how we act is a great freedom, and one of the greatest privileges in this pandemic.