Welcome to July, 2020

It's amazing how our society has been transformed in only a few months.

When the scourge of coronavirus hit toward the beginning of this year, many thought it would remain localized to China and other countries close to its origin. But by late February it became clear that we had a likely worldwide pandemic on our hands.

Luckily our leaders coordinated their efforts everywhere to limit the effects of a pandemic that could have killed millions as did the 1918 Flu Epidemic. Countries in Asia, Europe and the Western Hemisphere worked together early to prepare for what they knew would be the onslaught of a common enemy. They mobilized resources to plan for extensive testing, put extra hospital beds in place, and moved everyone into social isolation as soon as testing showed that the virus had reached their shores.

Thanks to the foresight of our leaders, who put personal politics aside to follow the recommendations of scientists working in coordination with the World Health Organization, this pandemic is largely behind us. Those who have been tested and have antibodies to the virus were allowed to venture out in early June. They now carry their post-virus visas and have begun to return to work, many in their previous occupations, many filling new job openings in public health created by the virus, many being trained in the new energy and infrastructure jobs created by government recovery funds. The rest of us slowly reentered a virus-free society on a tiered basis.

There is no returning to the economy – or world – of old. People now wash hands more frequently than in the past and many carry hand sanitizer. We avoid getting close to those who are not immediate family members, and we don't cough – or even breathe – in anyone’s direction. If any of us feel ill, we immediately return into semi-isolation to avoid infecting others. Expenses are covered for those who need it. The world is infused with a sense of community spirit not seen since the thirty-five year period following World War II.

We are told that a vaccination for the virus is expected soon due to the focus of world leaders working at record speed with labs around the world. The rest of this year will be a trial period to see if our new re-entry protocol works, but new infections have been very few over the last month.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our leaders who have put aside squabbling and grandstanding to literally save the world – and many lives – amidst the greatest threat to human civilization in over 100 years. Their efforts have set an example for what can be done when all countries and people devote themselves to a common cause. The main lesson that we have learned is not to return to partisan or international bickering.

We now see the value of combining efforts for the common good, and are determined to never again see our world torn apart as a result of an inability to work together.

Steve Zolno is the author of The Future of Democracy, The Death of Democracy, and the upcoming Truth and Democracy. He has been leading study groups in democracy since 2006.

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