Donald Trump, in his address to the American nation an hour ago, still believes that Coronavirus Covid-19 “will soon be over”. Members of his party’s Congress are on TV right now parroting his creed.
Professionals know it won’t be. It can’t be, there’s no cure or vaccine. Closing a country’s borders now, may limit the frequency of new outbreaks for a while but the potential for intra-national spread has already been sown.
According to Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing in a Season 1 episode discussing the return of Smallpox, “If 100 people in New York City got it, you’d have to encircle them with 100 million vaccinated people to contain it”. In the meantime, we’ve been told how easily Covid-19 spreads.
Yet, medical professionals still do not know the full nature of the virus, its modus for infection, its efficacy in the young and middle aged, and whether once gone it can repeat.
Therefore, quality of life for everyone, rich and poor, will deteriorate as local and global quarantines begin and supply chains get even more strained.
The media questions whether it’s possible to close a significant Western population centre. They forget that a major city in America was indeed shut down in recent memory. Boston, Massachusetts, during the 2013 marathon bombing manhunt. It has been done. By coincidence, it was reported yesterday that one person at a Boston business conference has since infected 70 others with Covid-19.
China is playing the most negligent of games refusing to accept the name “Chinese Coronavirus”, basically denying any role in its cause, cover-up and spread. And the media again, have gone along with it. China is beginning to truly strain its right of place in the global economic community.
And in the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season will soon be among it to complicate things.
But there’s a saying about the ripple effect: “Save one person and you save the world”. In that spirit, kindness to strangers, “mateship” as we used to call it in Australia, is the early treatment.
We still, however, need to care for ourselves and loved ones. So, start buying things slowly over the next few weeks. The likelihood you will need them is high. I pray governments and businesses put logical restrictions in place. Think about what you’ll need to stay clean, healthy and fed for 2-4 weeks: grains, carbs, and proteins; soap and tissues; a basic supply of vitamin C (for lack of citrus), and D (for lack of sunlight). Use common sense and discuss your medical needs with your doctor.
They said on the news last night that people are now panic buying freezers! Well, they may need to re-wire their homes too when their fuses start to blow.
But people can last a long time on staple rations. It’s kindness we need most of all: kindness heals the soul.
© 2020 Adam Parker.