Sunday, March 29, 2020

The unimaginable (re)visits us ... again

As to its size and scale, the corona virus experience mimics 9/11. The notable phrase from 2001 was, if you'd written it as a Hollywood screenplay, it would have been rejected as too outlandish, too preposterous.

Covid-19 gives off that same general vibe. Imagine this plot: a strange new virus emerges in the Far East, and makes its way to America via a trans-Pacific air carrier. It starts to infect and then kill people here. We don't understand it, but we see it spreads quickly. We self-quarantine. We are told "don't go out." The economy starts to shut down and governors begin to ban interstate travel. Meanwhile the president dithers ineffectually in Washington as the situation grows more dire with each news cycle. People are left on their own as doctors struggle to care for the rising wave of new arrivals at the emergency room door.

I mean, that wouldn't, couldn't happen here. We would never run out of essential goods. It's too preposterous a script. Thank the screen writers, and express our gratitude, but tell them it's being rejected as too unrealistic.

And tell them, we'd never have to ask China for help to solve this problem.

And yet here we are. Those who sought this outcome should rejoice. We have arrived.

America is clearly no longer the indispensable nation.