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Politics

COVID-19: 'We're Never Going To Be The Same Again,' But Change Can Be Positive, Cuomo Says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the novel coronavirus outbreak will transformative and the world will never be the same again.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the novel coronavirus outbreak will transformative and the world will never be the same again. Video Credit: Governor's Office

The world will never be the same again once it comes out of the other side of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is cautioning.

Calling the situation “transformative," the governor said that “we’re never going to be the same again,” and that we’re “never going to forget what happened here” one the spread of the virus finally slows down.

“As a society, beyond just this immediate situation, we should start looking forward to understanding how this experience is going to change us, or how it should change us, because this is going to be transformative,” Cuomo said at his daily COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, April 1 in Albany. “It is going to be transformative on a personal basis, on a social basis, on a systems basis. We're never going to be the same again. We're not going to forget what happened here.

“The fear that we have, the anxiety that we have, that's not just going to go away. When do we get back to normal? I don't think we get back to normal. I think we get back, or we get to a new normal. Right? Like we're seeing in so many facets of society right now. So we will be at a different place.”

Since the outbreak began, Cuomo has repeatedly stressed that situations like this will bring out the best and worst qualities in people as the pressure continues to mount. He said that the challenge now is to make sure the inevitable transformation is largely positive, not negative.

“Society, life - you will get knocked on your rear end,” he said. "You will deal with pain. You will deal with death. You will deal with setbacks. You will deal with suffering.

"The question is, how do you get up? First, do you get up? And second, if you get up, how do you get up? Do you get up smarter? Do you get up wiser? Or do you get up bitter, and do you get up angry? And do you get up fearful? We are in control of that.

“And we have to start to think about that. We also have to be smarter from what we went through.”

The governor said that it’s up to the world to react positively to the pandemic to ensure that when the next one hits, the world is ready to take it on, unlike COVID-19.

“What happens when something like this happens again? And something like this will happen again. Something like this will happen again,” he said. “We're seeing it in the environment. We're seeing it with floods, we're seeing it with hurricanes. Something like this will happen again. You can't just turn off the economy like a light switch.”

“And these are the types of questions that we have to start to think through. But not today. That is the next challenge, I believe. And that is what we're going to have to think about soon.

"But for now, one crisis at a time, as they say. And we are planning to handle the current crisis, preparing for the battle on the mountain.”

As of April 1, there were a total of 83,712 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York, including 47,439 in New York City.

“The next battle is the apex. You may see a curve on a graph, but I see a mountain, and the next battle is on top of that mountain,” Cuomo said. “On top of that mountain, the enemy is either going to overwhelm our healthcare system, or we are going to be able to handle the onslaught and get to the other side of the mountain."

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