There isn’t a reasoned analysis immune to the sympathies of surging unemployment rates. Unfortunately, containing the most efficient pathogen the western world has ever seen means making sacrifices it’s never had to consider.
In many ways the Covid-19 stimulus package, proposed by Congress and approved by White House negotiators, is tailored to facilitate a country at war. Instead of ships and missiles, capital is being supplied to research and supportive Sars-Cov-2 therapeutics. But neither will be enough if the “health” portion of our health-crisis is not taken seriously by the media, elected officials and all of the individuals beneath and in between.
Covid-19 may disportionately affect the elderly and immunocompromised in terms of severity, but it enfeebles everyone’s growth potential in equal measure.
Corporations are forced to navigate telework in its beta-phase. Small businesses have to facilitate employee retention while under consumer curfews. Workers have to Macgyver one time payments into two-weeks back pay and future security. Couples are either tested via distance or confinement. And political candidates have to maintain momentum while the entirety of our electorate is frozen in time. Any and all of these reasons favor urgency, but at the expense of it. The race to return to normalcy will dramatically damage its likelihood.
There are three factors that link the dense populations that have contained their coronavirus outbreaks. It isn’t time for stump speeches or performative efforts to reduce hysteria. It’s testing, surveillance and social distancing;
South Korea, a nation of 50 million people, whose economy is industry dependent—not unlike our own, declared a state of emergency in response to Sars-Cov-2 around the same time that the US did, yet only the former has found a way to flatten the curve.
On February 29th, South Korean medical workers reported 909 new cases in a single day. A few days later the number of new cases decreased by 50%. This reduction rate continued in similar increments until suppression became an inevitability.
“South Korea has tested far more people for the coronavirus than any other country, enabling it to isolate and treat many people soon after they are infected. The country has conducted over 300,000 tests, for a per-capita rate more than 40 times that of the United States,” Max Fisher and Choe Sang-Hun wrote in The New York Times.
China evidences a similar narrative though the country has been combating the mutated virus since the end of last year. As it stands, The US is on route to surpass China and Italy in confirmed coronavirus cases by the end of the week.
A study, conducted by researchers at The Imperial College of London, recently attributed values to our inaction.
If serious interventions are not put in place, social isolation measures could last another 18 months, 81% of the US population will contract Covid-19 (264 million people) and 2.2 million of them will die. Before the end of April, the demand for critical care beds will be 30 times greater than the current supply.
None of this is to suggest that The US has not put forth valuable relief efforts. In fact, there are some ways in which our nation is unrivaled in this respect. To this point, I might add that contempt for anyone, leadership included, will be best realized once the dust has settled.
Managerial skills are required of everyone. There have never been more opportunities to demonstrate patriotism and solidarity on the day to day than right now. There are organizations to donate to, ballots to consider, resources to contribute to for Asian citizens here and abroad who are facing increased instances of xenophobia, artists to support digitally, and vulnerable members of every community who can be assisted in meaningful, tangible ways.
Until the coast is clear, an inspiring portion of Americans are finding creative loopholes to stand together while apart. In the meantime, adhering to the suggestions of medical professionals is our best shot at restoration.
The CDC reports:
Isolation refers to the separation of a person or people known or reasonably believed to be infected or contagious from those who are not infected in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Isolation may be voluntary or compelled by governmental or public health authorities.
Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic from others who have not been so exposed in order to prevent the possible spread of the disease. With COVID-19, the CDC has recommended a 14-day period to monitor for symptoms.
Stay inside, catch up on and with hobbies and loved ones respectively, get plenty of rest and stock up on Vitamin C. Eighty-one percent of cases will not require medical intervention but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take this pathogen seriously. The virus is new and may potentially evidence two waves.
Most experts agree, that if we don’t yield to the suggestions of The CDC and The World Health Organization, the less our world will resemble the one we left when this is all over.