Lowering the Covid Curve
I have a Chinese friend who marvels at how I and most Americans refuse to wear masks in the face of the Covid crisis. Whether they work or not (we say no, the Chinese say yes), wearing them is a statement that there is indeed a shared effort to deal with the issue at hand. In its way, this is one small piece of how China lowered its Covid curve by implementing draconian measures. The thought of all this in the United States inspires derision from many. But there are now increasing calls to do something similar. #ShutDownMASS Petition, Curfew in San Francisco, New Rochelle Radii. Might we get close to the China response?
Given how Americans think and act, how split our government is, and how spread out we are as a nation, I do not believe that we can get anywhere near as restrictive as China did. We lack a top-down unified voice of leadership and the mindset of Confucian conformance in which people are ingrained with a belief that the social interest of the community is more important than that of the individual and follow the dictates of rulers who have their best interests at heart. While I am uncomfortable with loss of freedom and concerned about the exploding disruption to society and economy, it seems clear that the voluntary-mandatory shutdown steamrolling across the country is necessary to try and forestall a worse outcome.
I hope all of this will work to flatten the curve in America. We will not be as effective as China and South Korea, but hopefully better than Italy and Iran. What we need today is to come together, recognize the problem, and try to respond, belatedly though it be. Be safe everyone.