And the only prescription is… MOAR LOCKDOWN:
Andy Slavitt, who led the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama, says the U.S. is always about four to six weeks away from eliminating the coronavirus — if we throw the kitchen sink at the problem. […]
Eradicating the virus in the U.S. will involve a very simple formula — “we just have to decide if we want to do it,” Slavitt says.
“It really involves a little bit of discipline and a little bit of sacrifice,” he says. “It’s all about very simply not breathing near one another in crowded places. In the scheme of viruses, that’s a pretty easy formula, considering that there are viruses that are much more contagious. So we can do this with a series of actions that have been demonstrated around the world.”
But of course fighting the virus involves “discipline” and “sacrifice” – in other words, isolation, atomization and emotional deprivation – because that is a perfectly rational response to a respiratory virus and is always what we do during a severe flu season – right? In any case, mass house arrest has always been the global establishment’s go-to strategy for addressing the ‘rona ever since those awful videos emerged of Wuhan residents chanting jiayou from their balconies. Discipline! Sacrifice! We’re all in this together! Viruses hate that.
Don’t worry, we’d only have to sacrifice for six weeks. Just wait six weeks!
In terms of shutting down the economy again and asking people to stay home, Slavitt says we have to do more than we did in the spring. Back in March and April, only about 50% of the U.S. population stayed home — this time it needs to be closer to 90%. That means keeping more people home, including some essential workers.
Say what? I’m sure that forcing 300 million people to stay home for a month and a half wouldn’t lead to social and economic collapse. And even if it did, it would be worth it. Because nothing in the world matters more than fighting the virus. By the way, doesn’t the virus spread most efficiently through prolonged, indoor contact? And wouldn’t it still be circulating after the six-week lockdown ended, leading to a resurgence as people not yet immune “let their guard down” and resume normal life?
How silly of me. Normal life is over – and that’s a good thing, according to CNN:
Perhaps it’s nostalgia for the world of January, a place where daily life more closely resembled our past decades. Perhaps it’s a bid to show control, to revert to a time when change was not so universally imposed upon us.
But January is long gone, and it’s not coming back. And, psychologists will tell you, that’s only bad if you can’t come to terms with it.
We are slowly learning if this year’s changes are permanent. If work — for the lucky among us — will remain from home. If we will visit the grocery store less but spend more. If we will find wearing a mask on the metro to be just part of life. If shaking hands and embracing will become less common. If most of your daily interactions will occur via video conference (rather than in person).
“Imposed” is the operative word here. The changes were imposed – but not by the virus.