N. Christakis for the pandemic: From 2024 life will return to where it was before



The “Iliad” wants the priest Chrysis to ask the god Apollo to punish the painless Agamemnon, because he did not return his daughter, Chrysiida, and then he (that is, Apollo) sends his deadly arrows to the camp of the Achaeans. Arrows of the epidemic… This story inspired the professor of Social and Natural Sciences at Yale University, Nikolas Christakis, the title of his book “The Arrow of Apollo, the profound and long-term effects of the recent pandemic on the way we live”, which will be published in our country on November 3, from the publications “Cactus”. A book about the pandemic we live in today, but also the previous 20th century. Besides, Apollo, in addition to the nickname of Ekivolos, had two more, among others , that of the Doctor or Akesios (that is, the therapist) and of the Throat (the one that caused plagues, epidemics). It is worth noting that the Greek-American doctor and sociologist Nikolas Christakis was included in 2009 by Time magazine among the 100 most important people in the world Foreign Policy magazine included him in the list of top thinkers in the years 2009 and 2010. But if recognition is one part, the other is the anidi Nikolas Christakis’s complete offer to dying patients, in the past decade in the service of counseling services of palliative medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, etc. The experiences, the images gained during that period, give rise to the first question in the of N. Christakis to the Athenian and Macedonian News Agency. Q .: Is not this also a peculiarity of the pandemic of our time, Mr. Christakis? Covid-19 patients die all alone, without their children… A .: Unfortunately, many died alone – I even describe it in the book, “The Arrow of Apollo” – and I consider it completely absurd, it is a disgrace! We could accept that in the first wave there was no choice then, we did not have enough personal protective equipment, the doctors did not even have it, while there was no time to prepare… Now in the second wave there are no such excuses and in fact in America I do not think how they still die on their own. Q: Professor, you have studied the reaction of humanity to the pandemics of the 20th century (Spanish flu 1918, Asian flu 1957). What similarities and differences have you noticed? A: With Covid-19, an average of 1% of those with symptoms will die. The percentage is quite high, but we should be grateful that Covid-19 is not as deadly as smallpox and cholera. It could be much worse… Although we find it so strange and unfortunate that we are forced to deal with this pandemic, we have to keep in mind that pandemics have always been something we humans have been facing. It has been happening for centuries, it happened in Troy. Of course, this does not happen often, which is why we now consider it absurd, although it is not. Q: From the study of the present and past pandemics, would you say that illness and death unite, bring people closer? A: This has been discussed for a long time and there are two sides. On the one hand, we can assume that because we all face this danger together, you would think – and very often it does – that we are concentrating on facing the enemy. We can see in Greece that this happened, everyone stayed at home. On the other hand, especially when so many die as was the case in Europe with the Black Death, society was destroyed and one abandoned the other. And then there were people who took care of others. When we face a germ from which we are in danger, goodness and evil increase. Q: In the end, apart from the direct victims of Covid-19, are there also the indirect ones? Either from the economic crisis or from loneliness, social isolation? A: When we face an epidemic, there is loneliness. I do not think, however, that loneliness will play a huge role in our society for years, I think that our society will change. There are – as I describe in my book – three phases: the first phase is what we are experiencing now, the first, the second and the third wave. By 2022 I believe we will be forced to live like this. In the second phase, when we will have the vaccine or many will have fallen ill (herd immunity) so that the virus can no longer circulate in our society. This phase will last from 2022 onwards for about two years, until 2024. We will be so shocked by what we have faced, that not everyone will suddenly return to the taverns or take off their masks and get on the buses again. For a while people will be scared. In the third phase, from 2024, we will have the period after the pandemic, and somehow life will return to where it was before. Q: Will it be exactly as before? A: There will be something left, so to speak we may not shake hands or people may prefer to work from home. Once we have proven that it is possible to do a lot of work from there, many companies will consider that they do not need to bring staff into the work, since they will be able to do it from home. So businesses will save money, there will be changes in our economy. This weekend, in fact, I have an article in the Wall Street Journal describing this. Q: Despite the expectation of vaccines, why do you see the situation prolonging so much? A: Even if they find the vaccine in 2021, they should then make it, send it to the whole world. We will need billions of doses and the population needs to be vaccinated. In America at least many will not be sure, they will not want to do it right away. So, there will be a delay, we will not suddenly have a solution to the problem. I believe that for at least another year we will have these problems. Q: And joy, like the epidemic, is transmitted from person to person. You have spent a lot of time on social media, Professor. What are these and how are they affected by the pandemic of our time? A: The social networks that interest me are not the online networks. I’m talking about the personal networks we have, your friends, my friends. I described in the previous book, the “Draft”, published a year ago in Greece, how and why people make social networks. And what role do social networks play in our lives? One of these roles is that, along with the ability to convey ideas, we have the opportunity to learn from others. This fact, that we learn things from others, is one of the reasons we build social networks. We live in these networks to transmit ideas. Unfortunately, germs also circulate within the networks themselves. In both the “Draft” and the “Arrow of Apollo” I share the following idea: that the circulation of the germ is, in a way, what we have to pay, the debt we have for the fact that ideas are circulating. I approach you so that I can learn from you and as I approach, I take a risk. Instead of giving me an idea, you are giving me a germ. But evolution has helped us to have social networks in which we increase the good things and, as much as we can, reduce the bad ones. Q: What is life like in the US now? Do you think Covid-19 will affect the election? A: I think Covid-19 has diminished Trump’s chances of winning. Because our government’s reaction to Covid-19 was so incompetent and I think people see that. They could not protect the White House, it could not save itself. Older people who do not want to die from Covid-19 are not interested in supporting a President who… And, as recorded in the last polls, do not support him as before. Because they see that he did not manage to take care of them. It was not necessary that the reaction in America was so bad, because we have one of the best scientists and doctors in the world, we have the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), which everyone was jealous of. However, this President could not take advantage of the scientists he had. Unfortunately. (Source of information: ΑΠΕ – ΜΠΕ)



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