Common medical sense tells you that COVID-19 is just a form of the flu. Until now, no political leader has found it to be necessary to shut down the country because of a contagious disease, much less one that has these few cases and deaths. And it is starting to appear that we have some solutions for it, turns out the old malaria med could be a good treatment.
Common political sense tells you that the reason Trump has moved heaven and earth to prevent deaths from COVID-19, even at the expense of the greatest economy in U.S. history, is to get re-elected.
He has no choice.
The Democrats, never letting a good crisis go to waste, were going to hang bodies around Trump’s neck. How many would have survived if he had only done “A” or “B”? What about the families of those people (showing videos of grieving family members and blame Trump directly)? Why, oh why did he not do “A” – these poor people would be alive??
But Trump has turned it around, and is doing EVERYTHING that ANYONE has suggested.
You want a reduction in Fed Rate? It is now zero. You want to send money to people with hardships? EVERYONE gets a check, for even more than was suggested. You want $200B in economic stimulus? Here is a trillion. Testing kits? Here is 4 million of them (South Korea only tested about 270,000 people). Cuomo wants the Army Corps of engineers to help build hospitals? Here they come. Shut down the clubs, the restaurants, limit travel, send “social distancing” propaganda. The works.
This is Trump’s only way out of the trap. And Trump ALWAYS wins. With all of these activities, we will weather the storm and fewer people will die, even though posterity will have a massive bill to pay.
But back to the basic statement, how has this changed America forever?
Remember that we have been forced into a radical change before, and I believe we are worse off for it. The attacks on 9/11 gave birth to the Patriot Act, a severe change in the way America deals with rights and privacy. The economic effects were severe but temporary, the loss of life was relatively small compared to car accidents, suicide and the annual flu, but the blow to individual sovereignty was massive and perhaps permanent.
I believe the COVID-19 response will be just as severe and longlasting. In each case, 9/11 and COVID-19, I understand why the given responses wer chosen. But it is scary to me to see how American life can change so radically in so short a time.
This is what I see.
The COVID-19 response has parallels to how we changed how we deal with hurricanes. It used to be we sent in emergency services, saved all of the lives we could, we included charity services like the Red Cross, churches, etc. But that was it. After that, it was up to the communities to rebuild, using the kindness of neighbors and a lot of elbow grease. My family went through this after the April, 3 1974 tornadoes in the midwest. We had our insurance money, but it only covered the materials for rebuilding, we worked 14 hours days (me as an early teen) for many months to get the farm back in shape.
Then it became a political issue.
Houston, I think, was the big winner, claiming $125 billion in damages, and ending up with $15 billion in Federal funds. Congress allocated $42 Billion to Puerto Rico, or more, depending on who you ask, but I’m not sure how much was spent, and how much went to corrupt politicians. But the point is that the Federal Government is now expected to send un-Godly amounts of money to help the victims rebuild. This pretty much amounts to a redistribution of federal wealth to help the poor section of any given city and “rebuild” it far beyond their original wealth.
But who can question this? Who dares to say that they don’t deserve it? What governor would refrain from asking for free money? What mayor would turn it down if it is too much?
The response to the China virus is two orders of magnitude larger than this. We are talking trillions of dollars.
Now, it will be the case that anytime there is an outbreak of something anywhere in the world, that country will immediately be quarantined and cut off. The randomness of this policy will cause massive damage to economies in those countries.
(Side note: Perhaps this will give rise to a kind of “pandemic” insurance that will, of course, be arranged to further the goals of the socialist redistribution folks. Why not? The U.S. can be talked into paying for it…)
Now, anytime something reaches the U.S., the affected cities will just shut down. The Federal government will be forced to pay huge amounts in emergency aid to any and all cities. State and cities will submit radically inflated estimates of the damages and the political establishment will compete as to how generous they are to the poor unfortunate victims. The Governor of New Jersey just asked for $100 Billion in a Federal block grant. Just one state.
Now, EVERY politician will try to copy Trump’s response, except BIGGER. Politicians from affected areas will play on people’s sympathy to get pork-type payoffs from the federal government into their areas. And they will be rewarded with re-election.
Don’t get me wrong, we need four more years of Trump. I firmly believe that the future of our country as a free nation depends on that. But he has been forced into a position that changes us radically.
But how about the damage to American culture?
Social distance is now a thing. We will employ this during emergency epidemics, but also during the flu season, or, as with some people, all the time. Social distance will quickly become a kind of social isolation. No talking to strangers, no shaking hands, dirty looks when someone comes with arm’s length.
Will theaters start handing out masks for their patrons and offering a spritz of hand sanitizer? Will cleaning crews become a constant in our society, neatly wiping any place where a patron has touched? Will Rosie the Robot (from the Jetsons! Remember?) become a new fixture in our lives?
Will we all migrate into homeschooling? Or find a way to do small neighborhood schools? After all, schools are a major vector for the spread of disease.
Business people socialize, they love business so they do business while they are socializing. Will companies like WeWork, that encourage the reduction of social distance to encourage business interaction, go out of business? And will that process of reducing social distance, which is indeed an effective way to increase business activity, be declared illegal or politically incorrect? How much will this reduce our economy? The effect cannot be zero.
Will we develop into a drive-through society? Not just drive through disease testing but also drive-through shopping, drive-through dentistry or other services? Or will Amazon just take over and provide everything so that we never have to leave our houses?
Do we really want an American culture where people have such fear that they never leave their houses??
Will we develop into an isolationist society? Will the micro to macro nature of society then turn America into an isolationist country. I don’t see how this can be anything but bad. Can we actually develop a culture where people won’t want to be with other people?
Will there be any good qualities for American culture to come out of the China virus emergency? I can’t think of any. Social separation? the government replacing charity? politically correct B.S. all over? sanctimonious, fame-seekers popping up and giving out bad information? politicians grandstanding by giving away your tax dollars? out of control logic chopping and false metaphors? so much fake compassion that it makes you sick?
If you can think of anything good influence to American culture, please put them into the comments section below.
Perhaps the only good thing to come out of this is the change in perception of China. The whisper of a threat that China would withhold critical medicines that are manufactured there, means that NO ONE will want to trust China with ANYTHING critical. Production may not move back to the U.S. but this will have broken the back of the “Manufactured in China” phenomenon, and perhaps foil its designs on world domination.
And the persistent denials by some in China that COVID-19 even originated in China, that it, in fact, originated with the U.S. Army leads us to further distrust them. It is ludicrous, but some will believe it if China’s propaganda campaign continues. Trump will not like this, there will be consequences.
Very stupid of China not to have bent over backward to help the rest of the world. Additionally, once the facts come out about the cover-up of the progress of COVID-19 in China, the world will never trust them again. Their paranoia has sunk some very formidable and potentially successful strategy.