Predictions: The ball is in our court

First appeared as a Web Original on April 9, 2020

The ball is in our court. If you’re startled by those words, you’re not the only one. As predictions for what’s to come in the COVID-19 pandemic continue to escalate, many of us may not feel empowered, but afraid or even helpless. The scientific modeling featured in the news certainly can seem convincing—and chilling—with regard to what lies ahead.

But here’s something I’m learning: We’re not helpless. A recent headline, “How the pandemic could play out,” is a reminder that no matter how dire the predictions seem, they are only coulds. They are a “best estimate” of a certain outcome, based on what is known so far. But they are future-based. Therefore, they are not a set-in-stone certainty. They can be altered. And that’s where we come in.

Around the world, people are adopting practices like social distancing in hopes of reversing the current predictions. But there is also something more we can each do—something beyond taking human precautions.

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