AMERICANS TAKE VIRUS IN OWN HANDS
Vigilante American citizens have taken it upon themselves to conduct a radical medical experiment. They are bypassing quarantine measures put in place to combat the SARS-CoV- 2 virus (COVID 19 is the resulting disease), standing up for their civil liberties, and believe that upwards of 99% of the population will not get sick. They are gambling that sabotaging quarantine won’t backfire, and that this pressure will force the government to allow 99% of the population to go back to their normal lives virtually unaffected by the virus. For them, this is about freedom, and the right to go where they please. They see lock-down as tantamount to “house arrest”.
People think there are 2 options.
1) Stay indoors and stay safe, but the economy tanks and we go broke.
2) Go outdoors; save the economy; keep what money we have; and maybe 1% of the vulnerable people die.
But number 2 is a best-case scenario that people grasp onto because number 1 is untenable. There is another highly likely scenario.
2b) Go outdoors;super-fuel the virus; massive sickness and death ensues; the economy sinks; and we go back into lock-down.
And somehow we skipped over 1b.
1b) We do the quarantine properly; intelligently segue into getting out and back to work; the economy hobbles along; and we took a big hit, but we are OK.
The only country that is officially attempting #2 is Sweden, though as of today they have nearly double the cases as neighboring Norway, and almost four times as many as Finland on their other side. They have about 10 times the deaths of either of those countries. Let’s hope they don’t end up with 2B.
I’m not an epidemiologist, virologist, doctor, or any kind of a scientist. Any understanding I have is second or third hand, and all I can do is weigh the evidence I can get my hands on and make sense of. But it would seem to me that we might want to model our efforts on the countries that have had the most success at battling the virus and allowing their citizens to resume their normal lives as much as possible. We can look to South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic for that.
South Korea got its first case of SARS-CoV-2 mid-January, and the same day the US saw its first case. They employed aggressive testing, contact tracing, and gave subsidies to people in quarantine or self-isolation. Today, America has over 824,000 cases, and 45,000 deaths. South Korea has 10,694 cases and 238 deaths. In other words, we have over 75 times as many cases, and 45 times as many deaths.
South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all had experience with SARS, which also came out of China, was covered up and lied about. They treated the new coronavirus as the same threat, and their tactics have so far worked the best by far. Sadly, for America, unlike those countries, we didn’t catch it early, in which case we are going into uncharted territory. What do you do when the virus has already spread to the whole country? And sure, there are pockets that have proportionately far less cases than New York or California, but they all have more than Wuhan did a few months ago, which was more than enough to infect the entire globe.
The problem I have with the protestors is not that they are frustrated with the government, or that their livelihoods are being critically threatened and they object to a prognosis of extended lock-down that will impoverish them. It’s that they are out in groups, not wearing masks, and thus sabotaging the quarantine that is in place. The biggest risk of this is that their actions will cause the numbers to increase and prolong quarantine, or force a second one. It’s one thing to pressure the government to let citizens out of lock-down ASAP, while protecting the public health. It’s another to flaunt quarantine and potentially actively spread the virus. Those actions can make matters much worse for everyone, and for the economy, not to mention killing vastly more people.
My opinion is that these protests could happen online for the time being, and we could wait a few weeks and see how Sweden’s experiment, which is already underway, turns out. We already have a guinea pig of sorts. But the protestors are circumventing that, throwing caution and virus droplets to the wind, and forcing America to take the same route.
We can only hope their instincts are correct, and the global scientific community is as wrong about this as they are about vaccines, climate change, chem trails, the moon landing, or that the Earth is round.
The moon is hollow and filled with shape-shifting, reptile-aliens that control our planet. David Icke told me so, and HE says “there is no COVID-19”. It’s the “jab” you have to worry about. The cult that runs the world is going to put nanotechnology micro-chips in the vaccine to control our minds and transform us into automatons!!
If Americans are going to break the quarantine, than I pray that David Icke is right, er, about the virus, not the shape-shifting, inter-dimensional, reptile-alien overlords.
I know everyone who wants to end lock-down isn’t a protester shouting slogans, spraying spittle, or imbibing deep of conspiracy theory. I’ve received a few very intelligent and civil comments here. We’ll have to wait to see how this experiment turns out, and I’m always willing to admit when I’m wrong (might take a brief hesitation while I grapple with embarrassment), because once you admit you were wrong you are no longer wrong. There has to be a time when people can come out of lock-down, and it’s just a matter of finding when is the best and safest time. For this we need to listen to the real experts, and so far I haven’t seen a solid debate among actual experts. The arguments are mostly second hand coming from political commentators, pundits, and people who have qualifications, but not necessarily the specifically appropriate ones. Let me know where you see a respectable, serious debate between qualified experts (one of the experts can’t be the likes of Tucker Carlson or Rachel Maddow…). I’ll go with science.
A lot of people are framing this debate around freedom and civil liberties. We should recognize that even if the measures to stop COVID 19 infringe on our civil liberties, they are the same measures being used by almost every other country regardless of type of government or economy, and they are NOT being implemented in order to take away peoples’ freedom, but to protect the public health.
People are asserting their right to go outside and do as they please. But this right is only a freedom if it doesn’t cause other people harm. It’s not somebody doing whatever they want in their own home, among consenting adults, and nobody gets hurt. This is people out in public doing precisely the opposite of what the medical community recommends, and actively increasing the odds that other people will get gravely ill and die. It is not your constitutional right to knowingly and recklessly endanger the lives of others. THAT is a violation of the social contract which allows us to be members of civilization.
What will be the effect of these protests on the general population in relation to how seriously they practice social distancing, wearing masks, and otherwise taking the necessary precautions? My guess is more and more people will be more lax. The result of that could be catastrophic, and the United States could go from the country with the most cases and the most deaths to also garnering the Darwin Award for 2020.
While there are seemingly reasonable arguments for abandoning masks, social distancing, and quarantine, I haven’t so far heard them seriously issuing from the scientific community. The risk the protestors are taking of their own accord for the country could be suicidal on a grand scale. I can only hope that I am wrong.
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