A social contract is not the answer

Posted on 04/20/2020 in misc

Like everybody else, the pandemic is "top of mind" 24 x 7 for me. I'm writing to help myself not internalize all of it. You can find other posts in the series at https://odonnellweb.com/pelican/tag/coronavirus.html

The more I read about what is required to reopen the country safely the more I despair that we are truly fucking doomed. Consider this plan, for instance. The core of the plan is that across society we need a social contract to reduce contact by 65% to keep the R value of the virus below one, meaning that the virus’ spread will slowly subside as each person infects less than one more person.

Here is why the plan is doomed. On this day, April 20, 2020, Donald Trump’s approval rating is 44.1%. Those people aren’t staying home, they aren’t social distancing, they aren’t going to miss an SEC football game. If they had that kind of consideration for other people they wouldn’t be supporting Donald Trump in April 2020. Four Republican Governors (SC, FL, TX, GA) are reopening their states before they even get control of the first wave of the virus. Tens of thousands of people will die from that decision. Some of them will deserve it, and good riddance to them. Most will be innocent bystanders that catch the virus from some asshole too self-centered to make even the smallest effort to consider other people.

In the 1918 pandemic the second wave caused most of the deaths. Those that refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.