We’ve appeased it, right?

I keep wandering into magical thinking myself – I see more people out and about and think “Oh it must be getting bet – NO, stupid, people are getting more reckless.” I’m betting we all do that, not least because it’s normally a pretty good indicator. “Lots of people around here, probably not many tigers.” Normally pretty good, but then there can be the unexpected tiger.

The WHO warns us not to think all the tigers will go somewhere else.

Speaking at a briefing on Wednesday, WHO emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan warned against trying to predict when the virus would disappear.

He added that even if a vaccine is found, controlling the virus will require a “massive effort”.

“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” Dr Ryan told the virtual press conference from Geneva.

“HIV has not gone away – but we have come to terms with the virus.”

And, as Fauci reminded us at one of the early briefings, there is effective treatment for HIV.

Their stark remarks come as several countries began to gradually ease lockdown measures, and leaders consider the issue of how and when to reopen their economies.

I think the gradually easing idea is magical thinking too. “If we just walk very carefully over the chasm we’ll be fine.” That doesn’t appear to be the case with this virus.

Dr Tedros warned that there was no guaranteed way of easing restrictions without triggering a second wave of infections.

“Many countries would like to get out of the different measures,” the WHO boss said. “But our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible.”

Dr Ryan added: “There is some magical thinking going on that lockdowns work perfectly and that unlocking lockdowns will go great. Both are fraught with dangers.”

I’m finding magical thinking quite hard to avoid. I keep thinking stupid things like we’ve waited it out, we’ve diluted it, we’ve spread it so thinly that it won’t get us, etc etc – and then I slap myself up the head. I’ll be thinking the same thing an hour later though.

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