This is the week the world tries to recover its nerve even though we remain months away from a vaccine for Covid-19 and still have no cure. As 15-year-old Miranda said in Act V of The Tempest:
“How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
That has such people in’t!”
Indeed, rather a brave attempt at re-opening is getting underway. Consider the following:
** Seven weeks after imposing a national lockdown, Britain’s Boris Johnson is dropping his “stay at home” message for “stay alert”, which is, if you think about it, a pretty meaningless slogan for a microbe.
** Public transport will resume and places of worship allowed to reopen on Monday, May 11 in Djibouti, which has the highest prevalence of coronavirus cases in East Africa.
** McDonald’s will resume limited operations in the UK.
** Apple will reopen many of its US stores. On Monday, the Apple store in Boise, Idaho throws open its doors. Others in South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska will follow suit a few days later.
** Disneyland in Shanghai reopens Monday but with attendance capped well below the 30 per cent of capacity decreed by the Chinese government.
** Restaurants and bars in parts of Spain except for Madrid, Barcelona and other badly-hit areas will reopen Monday but patrons will have to sit (or stand) outdoors. Shops selling non-essential items will also reopen. Parties of 10 or less are allowed in people’s homes.
** France and Belgium will allow many more stores to open, albeit with appropriate social distancing measures.
** It’s back to school for children in Switzerland.