In your eyes, what is the most important lesson from Corona pandemic?
Roland Psenner: First, that any knowledge is only provisional. Anyone who follows research on the virus sees new hypotheses emerging all the time – which are often quickly refuted. Or certain aspects of the virus are proven, but how they affect its action in our bodies is still pure speculation. An interesting question currently under discussion, for example, is whether viral RNA can be incorporated into the human genome. Which again shows me how little we still know about SARS-CoV-2.
Secondly, it dawned on me - once again - that we are too slow, infinitely tedious and sometimes even reluctant to learn: we implement newly gained knowledge too slowly, we run to catch up, always, behind the development, or, as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland says: "To stay in place, you must run as fast as you can."
Third, in retrospect, I must conclude that the West (Europe, USA, etc.) has failed, which no one sums up as clearly as the French author Tomas Pueyo. Since his initial analysis more than a year ago, it was clear to me that we needed to test, track, isolate until an effective vaccine became available. Exactly what many Asian countries (Taiwan, South Korea, etc.) were successful in achieving. I am now more convinced than ever that individual personal freedom must be restricted for a specific, well-defined, and well-justified period of time in order to preserve the freedom of all.
Fourth, I have come to understand that zoonotic diseases are overwhelmingly the result of the climate and biodiversity crises. The larger crisis that I have been dealing with for 30 years is manifesting itself in fast motion as a pandemic. And unfortunately, we are managing the climate crisis as poorly as the corona crisis: too slowly, too inconsistently.