With alarming and unprecedented speed, COVID-19, the "Coronavirus disease," has gone from being a news item centered in Wuhan, Hubei province, China on the other side of the world, to it being officially declared a pandemic impacting our lives here at home.
Given this impact's literal arrival at our doorstep Friday, I have decided to write a post about it this morning. This impact represents the result of the responses of others all over the world to this health crisis.
In this post, dear reader, I want to talk about these responses and their implications for our future.
Impact at Home
It is one thing to watch some set of unfortunate circumstances shown in the news on TV. It is something entirely different for those same circumstances to suddenly show up all around you in your home.
Early yesterday morning, the first instance of someone testing positive for Covid-19 was registered in both the county I live in, as well as the more populous county to the west of us. Exactly one confirmed case, in each county. Not the first confirmation of a death mind you, but just of it being contracted ...
Reaction to this news was swift!
- First, we received a digital notification from our church that our worship services were going to be cancelled for at least the next two weeks.
- Second, based on the first, a ministry meeting with a couple for this morning was cancelled. One of the participants is the primary caregiver for their 97-year old mother, who is in frail health.
- Third, our local schools sent out notices they were closing for the next two weeks. Classes, sporting events, field trips, everything ...
Wow! And after two weeks, then what? To be continued ...
Question of "Proportionality"
I have long been interested in military history. Why? For one of many reasons, due to common references to particular battles and / or military campaigns being credited with changing the course of human history.
In military exchanges, a common reference today is to a "proportionate response" to harmful actions suffered at the hands of an adversary. The objective? A "proportionate response" is "is one that suffices to prevent further attacks".
- Example: America is currently engaged in a steadily spirally sequence of deadly exchanges with Iran and its proxies. In Iraq recently, 2 American soldiers and 1 British soldier were killed, with several more wounded.
In response and (grossly) exaggerating to make my point, America is capable of turning Tehran, an ancient city of 8.7 million people, into a smoking wasteland in a matter of minutes.
In a proportional response, however, it was reported that 6 people were killed in retaliatory air strikes...
What on earth does this have to do with Covid-19 @roleerob? Before answering, first let's take a quick (far from exhaustive ...) look at what has been done so far here in America:
- President Trump declared a national emergency, as the Federal government's response includes unprecedented measures to "manage" the growing ripple effect of the unprecedented directives to "control" the advance of Covid-19's into our population.
Question: Is anybody else weary of the seemingly endless and bottomless "hysteria fires" burning out of control (see below) amongst our various warring political factions? Continually fueled by the "free" press?
- The Federal Reserve announced the slashing of interest rates, as they draw ever closer to zero, followed by the announced addition of $1.5 trillion USD into the banking system. At least partially in response to huge drops in the stock market.
- Travel ban to / from China was imposed. Then, to / from Europe, excluding (?) Britain and Ireland. Then, including Britain and Ireland a day or so later ...
Much, much more could be written about what has been done so far and we are only just getting started. My question, if we liken "our" responses to this pandemic to a military campaign, is whether or not they are proportional to the threat?
In case the above is not clear, I am openly questioning the scope and scale of what is currently being done to "combat" Covid-19.
I won't belabor this point, but if you have any sympathetic reaction to it at all, I would recommend you refresh your memory on how the world handled the last "pandemic" - the 2009 H1N1 or "Swine Flu". Very little of what we are doing today, in response to Covid-19, couldn't have also been done then. But ... We didn't ...
Why was "our" response to H1N1 or "Swine Flu" so different? What is different? Who is answering these questions?
Whatever we may personally think about the above referenced question of "proportionality," dear reader, I can quickly follow it up with ...
"It doesn't matter what we think ..."
... since what is done is done. There is no stuffing the genie back in the bottle. It is out! To what end?
Since "we" have never experienced any global response / reaction like what we are just starting to live through, I would not claim to be wise enough to know.
And, of course, following right behind the ensuing chaos, we'll definitely need the Almighty State to step in and save us from that as well. Right?
What could possibly go wrong ...
In the meantime, I most definitely think we should all be able to "see" that at least the beginnings of the disruptions of all that we consider "normal" today is already underway:
- Families are going to be faced with immediate decisions about what to do with their children, who are now not going to be gone for the day at school.
- Employers are going to be faced with immediate decisions about what to do to keep their business afloat, with many absentees ...
- For clues, read "between the lines" of the posts of your fellow Steemians. "In here," we have a microcosm of what is happening with others all over the world.
Again much, much more could be written, but that is enough for now.
Calling a "time out" in this soberly written post, here is my brief effort at some "comic relief" ...
Photo: Toilet Paper Supply in our Local Grocery Store
- Note: Of course I have to get the ubiquitous photo of empty shelves in our local store into my COVID-19 post. Especially of no toilet paper. Never "got the memo" on toilet paper being what you should stock up on? 😧 Neither did I ... 😏
We can all see the "meme machines" in overdrive to make fun of this "over reaction." Like one of my personal favorites pointing out the irony of no toilet paper being on the shelves, while there is still plenty of soap ...
How funny is it though really?
My simple response is to let you know, dear reader, that prior to this my family and I had never experienced anything like what you see in the picture above, i.e. a shortage of literally anything. We have certainly seen this reality portrayed in other countries, for various reasons. But never here at home. Until now ...
Toilet paper today. What else tomorrow? And why? Human nature, in all of its "glory," once again rears its ugly head. "Herded over the cliff" by all the alarming messages, any preference to appear nice and civil fades. In its place, we all get to see what convictions underlie this veneer.
Apparently there are not nearly enough character-based convictions about doing the right thing, as we descend into an "every man for himself" mess ... Hording for "me," who cares about "you" ...You need go no further, dear reader, than to read the posts of some of our fellow Steemians from Venezuela, to see how that plays out ...
Unintended (?) Consequences
From the beginning, fear has been one of the greatest and most powerful motivators of man. None greater than the fear of death. Given the unprecedented reactions to Covid-19 seen thus far, millions of people must've already died, right? With tens, if not hundreds, of millions right behind them, right?
Uhhh, no dear reader. Not even remotely close.
Hmmm, well if not, then what is our response going to be if and when it ever gets remotely close? Who knows ...
For now, consequences we are already beginning to face:
- Supply chain questions and issues have only just begun. Anyone think they are wise / bright enough to forecast the future of where this will all end up?
China, the source of this pestilence, is at the heart of this question. As countries, like America, openly ask how we allowed so much of our mission-critical supplies to be controlled by this one country.
- In the ultimate "follow the money" adventure, what will the financial consequences be of these recent decisions? I believe a credible case can be made most countries of the world are technically bankrupt. Zero (ZIRP) and even negative (NIRP) interest rate policies are already here.
How much more "insanity" until the global banking system completely breaks down? Once America's "house of cards" begins to crumble, there is no financial power on earth great enough to stop it ...
Note: Bitcoin has been touted as "virtual gold." With "alt coins" representing a bright "utopian" future, as an asset class. Hmmm. I wonder what "market madness" happened then on Thursday, March 12th?
Again, as a now broken record, I'll say much, much more could be written. This only briefly captures a couple of vital financial consequences, which already have and will continue to have ripple effects all over the world.
As our seemingly permanently entrenched "ruling classes" deliberate "behind the curtain" about what has already happened and what is coming, you may wish to consider this simple quote:
"Never let a good crisis go to waste!"
And along with it, give some serious thought to the primary point of this post. How much of your future do you want to entrust to the Almighty State? Under what conditions would you "temporarily" surrender some of your liberties, enticed by the promise of both security today and you'll get them all back tomorrow?
We have already begun to see "temporary" measures put into place, to combat this common foe threatening us all. Which will almost certainly be followed by more "temporary" measures, to "control" the unintended consequences of the first "temporary" measures ...
We'll all find out how temporary they are. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next week. But, at some point in the future, will they disappear? Or instead, what excuses will be presented to change these "temporary" into "until further notice" measures?
Until ultimately, we are all resigned to the original "temporary" measures now just being "a part of life?"
Who cares @roleerob, isn't it all being done for a "good cause?" Of course ...
Yes, dear reader, I am well aware that this post may come across as "heartless" and "insensitive." Unlike seemingly far too many of my fellow Steemians, however, I do not trust the centralized power of the Almighty State. And I am appealing to you, as a result, to ask yourself some hard questions about what you are currently experiencing.
So, there you have it, dear reader. The "minority report" from one of your fellow Steemians. While I believe I am clear enough about the threat this pandemic poses to me and my family, I am obviously more than a little skeptical of our responses to it. Specifically, what the true intentions are of those "behind the curtain" influencing all that we see unfolding before us.
We are told the protection of our health is the one and only objective of all of these unprecedented actions. With no one questioning (at least that "we" are ever going to hear from ...) what the unintended (?) consequences might be. "We the sheeple" are dutifully falling in line and complying with all of it. With nary a bleat to be heard anywhere ... Because, of course, "everybody knows" ...
Preview of coming attractions? Stay tuned ...
If there is even the slightest merit to my reservations, I do not expect to have to wait all that long to find out if they were warranted. I’d love to hear any feedback you may be inspired to provide.
Until "next time," all the best to you for a better tomorrow, as we all work together to build up our Steem Communities and add increasing value to our Steem blockchain! 👍 😊
A very interesting exception to the gist of this post, at least for the moment, is the response of Britain. Any bets on how long will they hold out against the mounting outcries?
While in a different time and for a different purpose, I personally believe the 1964 "A Time for Choosing" speech of Ronald Reagan has a lot of validity for what we are facing today. If even the slightest bit interested, please judge for yourself, as you listen to this highly recommended ~ 28 minute speech here.
TL;DR: "Contrast and compare"
the global response to Covid-19
to that of the 2009
H1N1 or "Swine Flu"
the global response to Covid-19
to that of the 2009
H1N1 or "Swine Flu"
Ask yourself why
they are different!
they are different!