Today Estonia, and many other European countries are opening up some of the COVID-19 quarantine measures. For me, it seems strange, than in evaluating choosing the measures to be opened there is almost now discussion on how important or even critical the activity is for society and people. What is the damage if this activity is not available. For example, dentists and hairdressers were both opened only today. Swimming pools are opened, but schools are not. Opening up football leagues or holding the Olympics seems to be among TOP-3 topics in the news.
To provoke a discussion around this question I drew a graph. This is the type of two dimensional diagram that should be the basis on deciding on quarantine measures. Naturally, this includes only a very limited number of activities and we can argue about the importance of activities but I am sure that everybody agrees for example that:
- Food processing is more important than making toys
- School is more important than hobbies
- Dentist and health centers are more important than hair-dressers.
There are also many activities that can be substituted by less risky options. Like e-shopping vs. shopping and remote work vs. office work.
Unfortunately there are activities that have high risk, are critical and cannot be substituted by less risky options. For example, schools (especially for smaller children) are among these.
Then again there are activities that do not pose a high risk and we have closed down "just because". For example, there is no reason why we should not be able to drive by car from Estonia to Croatia and camp or stay in appartments without meeting any hosts on the way.