I caught a "When this is all over" discussion on the radio the other day. People were talking about "the endgame" as though viruses just stop.
Do we all just come out blinking into the sunlight? Relight the blast furnaces? Head to the airport for the delayed London-to-Sydney non-stop flight?
Get back onto the roads in our fuel-burning cars?
I'm betting on a mindset change. Covid-19 and Covid-20 go dormant, so does Covid-20(ii), but whatever is the current mutation proves vulnerable to the vaccine we've developed. It doesn't like Summer, either.
By then, we know that immunity through surviving it is neither complete nor permanent. Oh, and - as the saying goes - Winter is coming.
We come out. Very tentatively. We still keep our distance from each other - for a while, anyway. Some of us come down with Covid-whatever, but vaccination and possibly also herd immunity do their thing.
Then we get to decide whether or not we re-ignite globalisation.
Talking to a friend the other day, via Facebook, we came up with the idea that this is an opportunity to replay the second half of the twentieth century, but this time with videoconferencing and 3D printing.
And the canals in Venice running clear. And dolphins in the Thames.
Reality 1, Fiction 0.
My daily exercise takes me to Gyllingvase Beach, where I can find no plastic in the washed-up seaweed. I don't understand that.
The streets are (almost) empty; there are runners; on the beach there are swimmers. Not many.
It's when we all know somebody who's got it, that the world changes.