I don’t say this as someone who desperately wants to go outside. I’m still able to work right now, so I’m already outside every day, and I’m a homebody anyway. I say the following as a statement of undeniable logic…
As anti-authoritarianism as I am, I’m in agreement with this worldwide quarantine. Were I the head of state of any particular nation during this pandemic, I would done no different, except in severity; I would have been even more restrictive than Trump. Such measures indeed flatten the curve, but there remains something wrong with all this. This can go awry in two ways: 1) Economic depression that would dwarf the Great Depression, and 2) The rise of authoritarianism.
In my strongly-held opinion, there is only one way to avoid both of these things: Lift the quarantine quickly.
All a quarantine can accomplish is buying time. While this quarantine is in effect, you need to hurry, as fast as you can, the production of ventilators and ICU beds, and you also need to hurry the production of a vaccine or at least an effective treatment formula. Without any doubt, any doubt, this virus will hit us all hard. An economic hit is unavoidable, which we’re already seeing. A death toll is unavoidable, which we’re already seeing. But everything will undoubtedly worsen if this quarantine isn’t lifted soon, very soon. I say absolutely no later than April 30. It may have lasted too long already.
The hospitals may be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients if we return to normal, but it’s also possible that won’t happen. Nobody is certain how dangerous this virus is. I’ve been keeping track of information as it’s coming in: It’s possible most of the population already has this virus and is asymptomatic or only has the mildest symptoms. Unfortunately, (and I don’t say this easily) overwhelmed hospitals may be the price we pay to avoid pandemonium. Tens/hundreds of millions of people without work will be substantially worse than overrun hospitals. Sometimes what’s necessary is choosing the lesser of two evils…
If tens or hundreds of millions cannot feed themselves, feed their children, feed their disabled, or feed their elderly, you will get overwhelmed hospitals anyway. You will also get violently-overrun stores and shops. While joblessness is a risk (and is already becoming a problem), inflation is additionally threatening, especially with these stimulus packages the federal government is passing. I agree with the historic $2 trillion stimulus package, but they can’t keep passing these checks to people, while the economy is frozen in time, without that money eventually becoming worthless. This is exactly the way socialism bankrupts countries.
The world has never seen this before. An entire global economic shutdown has never happened in human history, let alone the United States. What we do know is that this virus isn’t equal to some viruses that once plagued humanity in the past, and still this response never took place. This shutdown could be substantially worse than the virus itself. Innumerable people could die from starvation, suicide, or succumbing to drug addiction just to cope.
When cash becomes unavailable, or worthless, people will care nothing for the paper in their wallets, and will find their own means of getting the food and resources they need. Do I believe pandemonium will transition to dystopia? No. It will transition to a police state.
Say what you want about Trump. He is egotistical, he is rude, and he can certainly be stupid sometimes. You can reach, and do mental gymnastics, to think of ways to call him racist or whatever else you want to autistically screech about. But one thing Trump is not is a tyrant. The booming economy that hit record heights right before this pandemic is proof of that. Trump wouldn’t have cut regulations on businesses if he was a tyrant. He would have actually tried jailing people in the media if he was a tyrant. He wouldn’t openly despise China if he was a tyrant (or corrupt). I could go on. Point is, there is literally no one in politics that I would trust more as president during this time in history than Trump. No other Republican, and certainly no Democrat except possibly Tulsi Gabbard. But Trump may have no choice but to put authoritarian measures into effect if this gets out of hand.
Sometimes nations don’t choose to become tyrannical, they stumble into it. We’re already seeing this happen now across the world from this pandemic.
The one thing Trump cannot do is overextend this shutdown. Again, it would either devalue our currency, and/or require the government to become tyrannical just to keep order. There is no getting out of this pandemic without all of us taking a hit, but we can lessen the blow. Sometimes, Mother Nature is just a bitch and there’s nothing we can do about it. We don’t have to help her out, though.
Of course, of course, I hope I’m wrong. I hope we can quarantine as long as we need to. I’m just not convinced this can last much longer. How do you shutdown the entire economy except for essential services for months upon months, without it driving everyone to desperation? I can only hope I’m wrong.
(After this is over, we need to get the fuck out of China. No more trade, no more business. Let that communist regime collapse under its own weight like the Soviet Union did.)