Thursday, March 26, 2020
hree months ago, no one knew that SARS-CoV-2 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not.
I post this out of a sense of duty almost, of completeness. I think The Atlantic is our leading purveyor of virus porn, the sort of doom-saying, prophetic utterances that you read late at night and are sorry you did. I know things are bad, but the Atlantic is glorying in it all. So read this if you want.
My best guess is the the virus will burn through our population and the rest of the world's, and various hospital systems will do their different level bests to cope with it. Some places, such as NYC and New Orleans, will be much harder hit than other places, such as the flyover states. We might even lose 1 million people in the US, a little less than a third of a percent of our population, no consolation if that includes your parent or your child. Certain aspects of life will change, such as everyone's having to wear face masks, or restaurant tables being further apart. Things will change. Technology will emerge as one of the ways we keep track of each other, communicate, go to classes: good and bad. Life will go on. People like me will miss the past and probably glorify it. Others will know it only from books, or rather from whatever they look at in those days. It will be the end of the world as we know it, but it will not be the end of the world. So read the Atlantic if you want to.
But -- don't compare it even for a moment to what a large part of humanity endured in World War II. Read the first chapter of Max Hasting's Inferno if you want a taste of what it was really like to have apocalyptic horror suddenly injected into and then replace your daily routine. Quarantine is bad, but it's not that bad, not remotely.