Archive for March, 2020

Possible National Quarantine? How Deadly Is This Virus?

Reports and rumors have been surfacing that President Trump is currently mulling over a plan for a national shutdown. Such a shutdown would be unprecedented in U.S. history.

The plan would allow President Trump to mobilize the National Guard to help enforce a two-week quarantine of the public and require everyone to “stay at home..” This would also urge all businesses, other than grocery stores and pharmacies to close for the time being. According to the source named in the Washington Examiner article, this plan would not be announced until early next week.

This comes on the heels of more and more states and cities taking drastic measures on Friday to combat the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, which so far has infected roughly 14,000 Americans. 

COVID-19: Life After the Pandemic

E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. A fitting motto for the melting pot that is the United States and a fitting view of the world, whose frailty, humanity and interdependence has been laid bare by an invisible virus. While ground zero for coronavirus seems to have shifted from Asia to Europe and is now making its way to the U.S., whose level of national awareness has only recently kicked into gear with a presidential emergency declaration, it is not too soon to begin asking ourselves what life should look like after this moment of global and national solidarity.

Coping with the pandemic will be agonizingly hard for the global economy and for many millions of people who do not enjoy the inherent security and resilience of adequate healthcare coverage, savings, paid medical leave and other benefits. The societal trade off we now face is stark. As financially vulnerable people grapple with the false choice of complying with calls for social distancing to protect the medically at risk and themselves, while doing so at the peril of their own economic survival. In this environment, facing a 100-year pandemic threat that has grounded the global economy to a halt in 90 days (with governments throwing trillions of dollars at the invisible many-headed hydra that has once vibrant free moving societies on lockdown), basic benefits and social compliance are our best defense.