COVID-19 has spread like crazy. Experts say that viruses are not exactly life forms, but this one seems quite lively.
If we look just at reproduction, COVID-19 is a huge success. I reckon that it deserves a better name, something like Mona Corona.
Humans may eventually wipe out the virus, but for now Mona Corona is in its heyday.
What can we learn from the beating we have taken at the hands (or whatever) of the virus?
First, that we need scientists. Try to develop a vaccine in your wash tub, and you will see what I mean.
Another thing we have learned is that medical folks take risks when they help sick individuals.
Nurses, doctors, ambos, the whole collection. They keep us alive at some risk to themselves.
I joke about each person I see being a potential disease vector. That risk is real and constant for medicos.
We also have learned that our future is not certain. Bad things can happen on a large scale. You may have enough toilet paper to last a while. Do you have enough money?
We have been reminded that government leaders in some countries lack in competency and in truthfulness.
One leader says: What virus? We don't have any virus here. Visit a sauna and then drink vodka - you'll be fine.
Other nonsense statements have come from leaders: COVID-19 is a type of flu. We have it under control. Injecting bleach might kill it.
We have learned that governments can help us in a disaster but we often need to help ourselves. I am ready at any time to watch Bear Grylls videos showing how to snare rabbits and to cook tree bark.
I never truly appreciated anyone involved in food production, transport or sale up until I started seeing empty shelves and panic-buying.
Now I feel something that might be gratitude. I have learned that many types of meetings can be handled well via video. I reckon we will learn that physical distancing helps greatly in reducing deaths from the flu, as well as from Mona Corona. So in-person meetings may never return to popularity.
A deadly pandemic happened about 100 years ago in the form of the Spanish flu. We now have learned that pandemics are not just a thing of the past.
The next one may not hit for another century. But it could be much sooner.
John Malouff is an Associate Professor at the School of Psychology, University of New England.