Well, that is a good question and one that is being asked about more than our motorcycle racing club.
There isn’t much experience that any of us have with a global pandemic of this magnitude, much less the financial upheaval and personal restrictions we are enduring.
What we are sure of is, this too shall pass. Just like our country did with the 9/11 disaster, we will create a new normal in which to live and ultimately thrive. We will all be more conscience of spreading anything to anyone. We will also become a nation of clean hands and apparently based on toilet paper sales, extremely clean (and maybe slightly raw) butts. I hope we will also have a lasting sense of togetherness, as we are all most certainly in this together.
When will this be behind us, is obviously everyone’s concern and while I have no crystal ball or elevated knowledge to make any predictions, I have tried to pay attention over the last three months. China is certainly not through and over this but they were on the leading edge of the virus. There are varying opinions on when it began but most experts agree it became evident in mid-December. As I am sure everyone of you know, China put in place a massive containment and it was strictly monitored. While the stats of infections, recoveries and deaths are questionable, the fact that the pace of the spread started to slow at about the two and a half month mark is somewhat telling. South Korea is probably the best case scenario to look at because they were well prepared with drive through testing and compliant citizenry. Their rate of spread flattened out at about six weeks. Korea is much smaller than the US and after the MERS outbreak, the South Korean government put certain powers in place to deal with contagious illnesses. Something we will no doubt see in our future.
So what does that mean for the US? Well there is good news and bad news on that front. The good news is that the Federal, State and Local governments are taking this seriously and pulling out all the stops to stem the tide. The other good news is that the recent partnership between the government and private sector is going to produce rapid results. Most of us were not around for WW II but this is as close as it gets to a “war time footing” and our country has pretty damn good record when we flip that switch. The same is true today, thankfully.
The bad news is that the US is a huge country with 330 million people. The geographical size of our country and the number of citizens are both factors we are going to have to overcome. The travel restrictions are going to be with us for sometime, in my opinion, unless a vaccine is developed or the warm weather proves helpful to suppress the spread of the virus. Washington state is ground zero in the US and California is second, so if you base the “flattening of the curve” on time, these should be the first two states to show positive progress, if the travel restrictions are heeded, the testing is done in high volume and if there is effective treatment for those infected.
Bottom line, it will be two to three months before we see an effective difference in California. We are one to one and half months into that time line, so May could be a month of hope. I say could be because there are so many mitigating factors and unknowns. Certainly all the folks that are stricken with the virus will not be fully recovered by then but we might be on the better side of this crisis. Let’s all pray it is so.
Many other areas of the country and the world have had their virus nightmare start later than we did in California, so it stands to reason that the government will restrict domestic and international travel to and from those locations to prevent another round of infections. If that is the case and we are restricted to California, oh darn. I could think of many other places that would be worse to be stuck in. This would allow us to restart our racing series albeit somewhat abbreviated. There will no doubt be changes/reschedules etc… but some racing is better than none. We will keep our thumb on the pulse of the virus and the industry and do our level best to keep you all informed.
In the meantime, we are going to lean on Mike Johnstone to be our band leader on Facebook to come up with cool topics for everyone to chime in on. Make sure to check in often and if you have ideas or suggestions, message Mr. Mike. I will be writing on various topics that will be in a new Blog section of our webpage and I can promise you that they will not always be as solemn as this. We need our faith, family and friends now more than ever.
Be safe and be well.
Rick Doughty and the Team ARX