Who deserves a badge of honor in the fight against Corona?

Government does not stop pandemics, we do.

4 min read
Who deserves a badge of honor in the fight against Corona?

Many countries have reacted to The Novel Corona Virus in much the same way. Leaders downplay the risk, wait until the last minute and then do 'some form' of shutdown. In China, the shutdown was draconian, in Japan it was very loose, and in the United States, well it depends on your State. As of June 11th, the US had 24,000 new cases and Brazil 30,000. In just one day! With full reopening on the horizon and cases still going up, people are wondering if it is safe. Polls show that many people, if not the popular majority, is against reopening too early. Let's unspin and discuss the motives behind the suggested narratives in popular media.

Florida just had its highest amount of cases reported in a single day yet. In spite of this the alt-right is still attempting to paint an image where the 'increase in testing' is the key cause to the increase in case numbers. They want you to believe that countries with high case counts should be proud they can do so much testing. High case counts are those country's "badge of honor". Other countries with low case counts, must just not be testing. Or they are hiding the 'real' numbers. Regardless where you stand on this specific issue, you must admit testing alone could not be the key factor here. But even if we assume the alt-right is correct and other countries are simply not testing or hiding numbers, we can look at things with a different number: mortalities. Deaths are hard to hide, change, or fake, no matter your political or social system.

The US has surpassed 100,000 deaths due to Corona, and it is the world leader in fatalities so far. The UK and Brazil are in a close second with fatalities around 40,000 deaths each. They are followed by Italy, one of the first western countries hit by Corona in a major way. (Data from June 11th) Death is hard to cover up and has nothing to do with testing capabilities. It is a result of infection spread. Mortality data allows us to objectively say, that some countries have faired well against Corona and others have not.

Since Corona is still impacting American life in a major way, you could say it is way too early to be giving badges out. Unless you want to give badges out for ideas and strategies that have been effective. One such badge may go to New Zealand for eliminating the virus completely from her shores. Another may go to the People of Japan, for getting the virus under control even without a lockdown. Multiples more to our healthcare workers, who continue to risk their lives to fight this deadly disease. The last thing we should want to praise right now, are the increasing numbers of cases, anywhere. There is nothing objectively good about the virus spreading, regardless of your political views.

So what is the hidden agenda in the alt-right statements? What is the possible motivation for attempting to provide a sense of peace and safety, that we are doing all right, when the house is still obviously on fire? What are the motives behind statements like: 'we are just testing more', and 'badges of honor' for more cases being revealed? It seems to be to deny Corona's severity to encourage reopening the economy, at any cost.

The argument may go like this. What will our nation's standard of living be like with another month of job losses, bankruptcy, and foreclosures? Is the danger of not opening now greater or less than the danger of the virus. Let's rephrase that. Is it more politically dangerous for me as a politician to reopen now, or to not reopen? You may see the mixed incentives that one could face. Β It is a hard choice between making voters angry now, or having dead voters and then angry survivors later. The incentive structure for politicians is not ideal. Which leads to a need to pick from the two. Which one is decided on is purely a depiction of that person's moral character and political philosophy. Moreover, it shows what they think that their constituents are impatient, or are more in favor of reopening now. Like a mirror reflecting our own desires.

Yes, we all want to reopen as quickly as possible and get life back to normal. No, we do not want to redo the past two months. The solution is to fix the political perception of us, and then for us to 'vote' in action and on ballets. Do we wear masks to protect others or not? Can we overcome hardship to save multiples or not? Can we make sure that we keep cases down, so we the people do not even need a government to force us into constitutionally dubious lockdowns? E pluribus unum in the modern sense may mean 'out of many, we need one'. We need to work together like never before to fight an enemy like never before. Not political rhetoric that aims to split our common resolve to help, protect, and stand up for one another.

Whatever they try to tell you, remember, the virus has not disappeared and we are not doing very well to fight it. Do not let them convince you that we have stopped caring because most people, are very much against reopening too early and are very much still in this fight for the common good.


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