Lessons from world wide Corona virus.
The politics of world wide epidemics.
During early parts of the year 2020, in democracies all over the planet, rules and laws restricting individuals freedom and rights, are being put in place to slow the spread of infection. The overall plan is to slow the numbers being infected to a level that the health systems can cope with. It is widely accepted that there will be no instant cure, and so containment to enable the hospitals to cope, is the strategy being employed. Ultimately a vaccine will be found, but the virus my mutate and render this ineffective. Politicians are having to accept that the usual political rules do not apply in periods of national and international emergency. Only the extremists and the fanatical activists will try to use the fear and the levels of unusual restrictions to criticise their government. Criticism is cheap and easy while preventative action is so very difficult. When the infection rates are reduced to levels that allow some normality to return; then political rivalries will reassert themselves. All over the globe, democracy or otherwise, the immediate requirement will be for economic recovery. How big a problem this turns out to be will be influenced by how many people have died and how much has been spent trying to cope with emergency medical and economic effects, during the epidemic. Thoughts will eventually turn to problems of the future. It is probable that every nation will see a recognition that its health care system needs an upgrade and needs both plans and resources in place should there be a future global infection of some sort. This will change the economics of the world, it will also change the perceptions of what are basic civil rights in democratic nations.
One thing that seems evident is that the spread of the infection, world wide, was due to the freedom to travel by air and sea, enjoyed by anyone with money to buy a ticket. In rural Britain, when there is an outbreak of, for example “Foot and Mouth” disease in cattle; it is necessary for every person moving around the countryside, to walk and drive through disinfection “ponds.” You can not go from one part of the infected area to another without being disinfected. So why not use gamma radiation or some other similar system, at every air port, every sea port, and every custom point, all round the world. Some will say this is closing the door after horse has bolted and others will say too expensive and yet more will claim infringes their human rights. This present infection will not be the last the world experiences. New ones will occur and slowing the speed of spread, will save lives. International agreements to install “infection barriers” at every national boarder, will have to be made and enforced.
In Britain during this present crisis, there has been general support for the government, some criticism about preparedness for emergencies and the lack of testing kits, protection equipment etc. but the majority of the population seem to accept that not much could have prevented the outbreak spreading. Good Friday 2020 is effectively a cancelled public holiday. People are getting all their information input from daily papers, TV, the internet, or telephone conversations with friends and family. None of these are evidence based, reliable, scientific sources of information. In rural and semi rural areas, just about all the people are keeping to the social distancing and all seem to be calm and accepting about the delays getting into shops etc. Traffic is almost non existent, the time saved when using a car for essential shopping, is then “used” up by having to wait for room in the shop before being allowed to enter. Since the weather is good this is not a problem.
What is a problem is the fake news and scare stories that seem to get circulated. Also web reports of people still trying to go on caravan holidays, and utterly insane stories of the police having to break up parties in cities. This is all round the world, not just a British problem. It is a problem due to total urbanisation and the distancing from all natural life, that many seem to have adopted. Far too many people particularly those totally immersed in urban ways of living, have a very sanitised conception of the realities of life itself. Nature is violent and often brutal, it does not care how pretty anything is, if it is part of the food chain, it gets eaten.
The very places which are most at risk are obviously cities, yet it seems these are the places most people ignore the advice, the world is crazy; or more accurately the humans so trapped in urban ways of life, that they can not understand the simplest of safety precautions. Human contact is the temporary “enemy”. The disconnection between people and the realities of life is going to cause loss of that life. City devotees who have children who do not know milk comes from cows or that apples grow on trees, simply do not understand that their way of life has separated them from the harsh reality. Life and death are not just TV shows, blood, sweat, death and dirt are real to rural ways of life but some city people appear to have become so used to a totally artificial world, that they can not grasp the present dangers. This virus outbreak and any future ones, will end up killing those who refuse to learn anything.
This is a political issue for the future. Time will pass, memories will fade, fear will subside but better awareness of how our very interconnected world can spread death around it so very quickly, will be necessary. While the general populations all round the globe will get back to normal, they will never forgive a political party that is not prepared for a new world epidemic. It may not be for 15 years, it may not be for 50 years but when it occurs the media will soon remind everyone that this happened before and so governments should have had plans and equipment in place. The economic demands this will make on tax payers will be a political battle field for many years