Coronavirus has demonstrated that the US is frighteningly vulnerable to the appearance of another pandemic. We are on track to lose more people to Coronavirus than every one of our wars individually. We have already lost more Americans than many of our wars COMBINED.
Though it is difficult to say, Coronavirus is not the worst pandemic to come. It is far gentler than what may be out there. This is frightening, because what we have learned from Coronavirus is that:
the next pandemic will be unknown
our advanced scientific tools (e.g. testing, vaccines, medications) will not be ready to deploy
primitive tools (border controls, quarantines, lockdowns, face masks) will be needed to buy time for our science
Given the high speed interconnectiveness of the world and our encroachment into pandemic generating environments, it is clear that the next pandemic can strike at the drop of the hat. Some will say, this means we must be forever vigilant and fund the monitoring of pandemic candidates. This is well-intended, but incomplete.
Instead of focusing on only monitoring, we should put our efforts into pandemic proofing our society. Let's not worry about when the next earthquake will strike. Let's make it so the buildings cannot collapse.
One of the measures we must have is the mandatory uses of face coverings, if not on all public transit, then for all air travel.
Let's pre-emptively stop pandemics before we even have a name for them, so we will never have to deal with another lockdown.