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May 24, 2021

Imagining the end of the pandemic

The ability to imagine is the most useful feature of human mind. It has limitations, too. For example, many of us are having hard time visualizing the return to campus after the pandemic. We all know we will, but the picture in our minds does not quite come into the focus. The trick it – imagination is fed by sensory perceptions. It cannot produce images out of nothing.

I spent a couple of days on campus for our CARmencement. During the pandemic, the campus looked like a ghost town, with eerie feeling. However, in those two days, it was full of people, brimming with life, sunny and as beautiful as I remember it. Ans yes, suddenly I knew how it will be once we are back. It all suddenly made sense. If you want to trigger your imagination, create a situation that is similar to what you want to imagine. The little trick really helps.

It is amazing how hard it is to change our behaviors, even if it is changing back to what one considered to be normal. The various governments do not help much. In the government world everything takes time to prepare. People who run large social systems always think a few months in advance. They constantly count back from the future horizon to the present. There is always a lag between what the best science have and what is happening on the ground. OK, no surface cleaning apparently needed. But tons of the cleaning solutions are ordered, contracts signed, people hired, money encumbered… Large ships take time to turn. OK, CDC says no masks. However, there are policies that local and state governments have in place. They need to be rewritten, rescinded, approved, communicated, etc. none of that can be done in a day. Here we are wearing unnecessary masks, waiting for the governmental gears to turn. That’s OK, we can wait a little longer.

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