Coronavirus: The Polarized and Dangerously Simplistic US Debate

Coronavirus: The Polarized and Dangerously Simplistic US Debate, by Utu.

In the media there was no discourse about the strategy to eradicate the virus. From the very beginning only two options were offered: (1) no mitigation aka herd immunity now and (2) mitigation by curve flattening, aka herd immunity down the road. The only difference between no mitigation and curve flattening was the reduction of fatalities by preventing the medical system being overwhelmed.

When the concept of the curve flattening was introduced the unmitigated curve and the flattened curve were presented in the slide illustration where it just happened so that the areas under both curves appeared to be equal. People got the message that the number of people dead would be the same except for those caused by the overwhelmed health system. A third curve with much smaller area was never presented. The question is why. Why the US and most EU countries did not go for the ERADICATION option?

The eradication option was doable as Taiwan, Hong Kong, S. Korea, Japan and New Zealand, Slovakia and to lesser extent Czech Republic and Austria have demonstrated. It took 49 days for New Zealand.

If lockdowns were imposed earlier and if they were stricter and if borders were shut down right away and if mask wearing was mandatory form the very beginning and if aggressive contact tracing and contact quarantining was carried out the epidemic could have been quashed in six weeks and we would be back to normal already in early May except that contact tracing and mask wearing would have to stay for longer and most importantly borders would have to be put in a permanent epidemic mode for as long as they would be flare up of epidemic in other more stupid countries. One would think that the right and the alt-right would see it as their dream option of reasserting the sovereignty and renegotiating the immigration policy.

Why we were not allowed to consider the option of the virus eradication? Is it because it would be a threat to globalism, it would foster resurgence of nationalistic right, it would bring national unity and solidarity, it would reestablish borders and national sovereignty? Or is it because a high impact of the epidemic was needed to turn the world and world public opinion against China, to turn China into the pariah nation according to the grand geopolitical scheme concocted by the cabal that Steve Bannon was and is occasionally channeling?

The alt-right and their libertarian substrate as usual missed the opportunity and ended up being cast in the role of useful idiots. The discourse was captured by flu hoaxers, herd immunity fetishists and all kind of cannibalistic gerontophobs who worked towards defeating the curve flattening program with the herd immunity meme and doing it with as much noise as possible so the the real alternative of the VIRUS ERADICATION would be never heard of.

So the US has ended up as one of — in his words — the “stupid countries.” Sadly. The US has neither crushed the curve nor avoided economic self-harm. Monumental own goal.

I’ll bet the US and UK governments wish they could go back in time, to February or even January — when some advisors were warning them and the danger was obvious to this blog — and completely close their borders to the virus. More and bigger government anyone?