There is quite a bit of public commentary on how many weeks will be needed to isolate Americans in order to let the novel coronavirus pass over the nation “so it can open up and get back to work”. Instead of painting blood on their doors the people have horded toilet paper. The paradigm seems a little off to me, since it is not quite like waiting for the comet Halle Bopp to make a close pass to the sun and disappear on an outward bound course; the virus could reappear from Mexico or South America and elsewhere after it has been subdued in the U.S.A.
One passenger from Buenos Aries next September travelling to Chicago could re-infect the nation. A single illegal alien travelling north to work in Los Angeles, some stray business executive not showing symptoms arriving in Seattle from nation x could re-infect the nation for round two of national pandemic 2.0 Waiting ten weeks to “open” the nation after the “spread” is stopped and the virus disappears may be safer than waiting 3 weeks, yet the fundamental paradigm for biological vector proliferation seems off and inadequate. Economic reform to ecological economics that have good national firewalls and ordinary quarantine times for migrants and visitors should be requisite.
The United States might not be able to spend federal dollars like drunken sailors with trillions of dollars added to public debt every time a foreign bug enters the country from a leaky international security screen to prop up the national economy. The virus outbreak has been compared to war in support of massive federal spending, yet the debt of the Second World War was paid off just a couple of years after the conclusion of the war.
The present public debt has been compiling since the Reagan administration and no one in government will pay it off nor has a clue of how (tax the rich at 90%). Zero interest loans to big banks enables the richest to mint five free e-dollars via loans for each one on deposit with real money repaid. In each crisis the rich get vastly richer and the public hopes for the little payment to buy food and do the laundry. Inevitably the Congress will call in time for cuts to services to the poor to help balance the federal budget. Broadcast media sycophants echo the general parameters albeit with two sided criticism and suppression of any alternative ideas.
The mass media search for wealth and power, audience share and control has largely displaced the marketplace of free ideas and advocacy that flourishes in a healthy democracy. Media are as pro and con fans of the rich and powerful rather than independent advocates of new ideas and different directions. They are followers rather than leaders and prop up anachronistic though rich establishment organizations. In the U.S.A. the media-political establishment relationship reminds me of that of the C.P.S.U. and its party organs with the most rich and political-media elite cliques enfeofed in power in comparison to politically passive proles.
In America 80% of the people own cars destroying the health of oceans and atmosphere for human purposes and are also invested in Wall Street; they are corporatists signed on to Mussolini-Hitler style corporatism quite unaware. Democrats are neo-liberals and Republicans the same more or less with more accent upon management interests. One party outwardly favors atheism, homosexuality and legal dope, abortions etc more than the other. Corporate leaderships favors godless worldliness without moral reservations. The lemming factor driving most toward mass disasters is explicit. Though it would be pragmatic to change toward sustainable and safe economics it is socially unrealistic to do so. Democrats advertise band aids for global warming that lack red blood cells of ecological economic principles and practices. They would wonder; doesn’t ecological economics mean recycling bottles and paper?
Even practical preparations for biological attack are lacking. With all of the robotic research couldn’t some few thousand upgradable robotic contagion nurses and heavy lifting robots be made to serve in dangerous areas when human workers are perishing? Wouldn’t self-driving electric powered ambulances spare a few drivers from contagion? Aren’t there many prep technologies that could be made and stored for emergencies that could be upgraded every decade or so?
Ecological economics would require vetting of business forms to examine their effect on the environment as positive or negative. Positive ones would be permitted to go ahead; negative ones failing the eco-zoning criteria would not. There would be good safety nets for workers when they were not employed. In effect the national workforce would become temporaries with their safety net maintained by the government rather than Wall Street.
Workers would have free public education, medical and basic income. Eco-zoning would apply to all structures with a goal of restoring the ecosphere to full function through remediation and construction with no net loss of biota.
With biological technology becoming so sophisticated and genetic engineering becoming commonplace for national security to depend upon the kindness of strangers isn’t a good policy. The idea that mass surveillance and a totalitarian information state will know a priori about any possible development of dangerous biological vectors is equally silly. Restoration of a social and environmental business ecosphere with natural firewalls to de frappe biological war vector should be an obvious policy direction to take. With the acidification of oceans, loss of bees, mass extinction in general and global atmospheric heating there may not be enough clues for political leaders to notice concerning the fragility of human existence and environment to be distracted from Wall Street profits.
Human civilization faces a challenge of the need for complete change of its historically aggregated physical structure from the type one kind of historical sprawl to one intentionally designed to adapt optimally to the world ecosphere. It is a great challenge for a civilization to change its basic structure and form for renewal and a challenge perhaps never met. It would be like asking Aztec civilization, or Inca, to rid itself of its structures and become Roman without pyramids and with arches and columns. Or it would be like asking Roman civilization to live upon water in a raft community, yet that is what is required of the United States as a world leader if humanity is to extend its generally peaceful occupancy upon the planet for a considerable period of time.
The era of exterminating wild life on real estate with border to border dead zone need end and thoughtful human living situations innovated that permit maximum personal liberty with security and minimal adverse ecospheric impact.