Day 3 After National Emergency Declaration. China versus US, South Korea, Europe, Japan etc.

After the first case appeared in December 2019, China bungled the initial response, which made things worse. Since then, however, they’ve managed to halt the spread of the virus.

We bungled in our own way, because with knowledge of what had started in Wuhan, and that in the age of travel an ocean is not a barrier, our response could’ve been more effective. For instance, we could’ve had plenty of testing kits for the virus.

So they bungled and we bungled also.

Now for the second phase. China instituted strict quarantines. Their economy has taken a hit but they’ve halted the spread of the virus. Those results are a challenge to us.

Can our open society, with a plurality of voices and a wide diversity of competencies and political views, manage to present a united front to stem the tide of infections and limit the damage so it’s less that what China has endured?

The battle is on. The number of infected cases and deaths will tell the story.

The stock market (which is not the economy but tells us something about it) plunged another 3 thousand points today.

The virus has already sent us into a bear market. With the severe contraction in the service sector, most economists agree we’re headed for a recession.

There is consensus that this is not 2008. The disruptive force is not buried within our financial system but swimming in our body fluids, so this is very different.

China is ahead of the game. How they do, how quickly their economy bounces back, will tell us a great deal. If they pull out of the stagnation they’re in we will know that at least one path works. Maybe ours will too, but we’ll know that theirs works for sure.

The hope is that, once their travel restrictions are lifted, the infection will not return. I am definitely pulling for them. And if the infection does not return then their economy will start to climb back.

There’s much more at stake here than getting over the virus. There’s the sense, at least in a lot of people watching these developments, that contrasting political systems are in fierce competition; that overbearing state control is being pitted against individual liberty.

I don’t have any doubt in which world I like to live, and will do what I can to make sure we control the spread of the virus.

Pasadena was dark and rainy today.

Most eateries were doing take out business only, but the mood seemed positive.

This morning I went into a store to buy some fresh vegetables and the shelves were barren. I was able to get some other things I needed. I have yet to find hand sanitizers but put my name on a list at a specialty pharmacy. A single surgical mask was going for 6 dollars. I passed.

One prediction has it that sooner or later, all of us will catch the virus. But the longer it takes for most of us to get infected, the more likely it will be that we’ll have the resources to help us heal.

At an early morning appointment with my dental hygienist, I mentioned that coronavirus was showing us how interdependent we are. ‘Yes,’ she answered, ‘it’s humbling.’

No cough, no fever.

We’re going to beat this.

Good night.

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