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The Coronavirus–Inconvenience a Single Person? Or lock down an entire country? You decide.

I wanted to leave this alone for awhile, but after I wrote yesterday’s post, dwelling as it did on the quarantining of 16,000,000 in Italy, it was announced that the ENTIRE COUNTRY of Italy was going into quarantine.   Can you imagine?

For anyone making fun of people stocking up on toilet paper and other items, just look at Italy.  They’ve gone from being able to move about freely, acquire necessities and such at will–no hoarding necessary!–and literally overnight, they are now confined to their homes except for emergencies and going to work.

With people still going to work, one doubts if the measures are substantially more than stagecraft, but ok, it may stem the tide.  But if it doesn’t, then they may even have to dispense with going to work.   It may very well be the case, perhaps literally overnight again, where an entire population of some 60,000,000 or so will be completely dependent… with no one, anywhere, to help them.  Ya know, cuz they are all in quarantine; businesses closed, shops closed, transportation closed, etc, etc, etc.

Personally, I don’t think it will come to that, but that’s not the point.  The point is that there is the world that we wished we had and the world that we actually have, in reality.  In the real world, things happen which no one can predict or adequately prepare for, no matter how smart you are, no matter how good your intentions are, no matter how robust you build your systems, so on and so forth.  However, it is precisely because of this that, in the past, before political correctness set in and people behaved based on the warm fuzzy feelings in their stomachs, and instead used their brains, there were, shall we say, ‘checks and balances’ built in.

Just by way of example, about two weeks ago, I asked on this blog “can our liberties survive the coronavirus?”  In this post, I pointed out that strong borders manned by vigilant public servants were instrumental in allowing the rest of us to live as free people.  I said:

The whole point and purpose of such protections is that foreigners would have to undergo certain procedures so that we do not have to.  [emphasis in original]

And again,

The point that the Republicans miss is that the whole point of our system is to ensure that our rights NEED NOT BE USURPED because elsewhere in the system, due diligence and due process are being exercised at the precise point of pressure.

Now, somewhere out there is a Patient Zero who came to Italy bearing the coronavirus.  We don’t know who this person is… and by ‘we’ I mean the general public.  Granting that one of the unique features of COVID-19 that is creating difficulties is its long incubation period and ability to infect whilst not being symptomatic, I nonetheless would like to ask the people of Italy whether or not they would have preferred that this infected person be detected and quarantined at the point of entry into the country, or are they pleased as peaches that their entire country is on lockdown–literally, that their health care system in the Lombardy region is overwhelmed, that 500 people are now dead, that businesses are probably going to go out of business, that people are going to be laid off because of that, that necessities and other items will now be rationed, and so on and so forth.

Prior to this, you can just see the ‘woke’ globalist squirm at such an idea… “You want us to single out and inconvenience someone just because of X?  YOU BIG MEANIE!”  But now, golly gee, maybe that ‘bigoted’ perspective turns out to have some sense to it.   With the cost that Italy is presently paying for its enlightened empathy, perhaps Italians will re-think the whole paradigm.

Of course, the details matter.  Was Patient Zero an Italian citizen who had no idea he was infected?  That may change the analysis.  But, for all we know, Patient Zero was someone from Wuhan who was sweating profusely.  When you don’t know, you don’t know.  Nonetheless, it remains a fact that there was an Italy before COVID-19 and an Italy after COVID-19, and it appears likely that the difference hinged on a single person and is self-evidently obvious that he came from outside Italy.

It is too much to talk about right now, but there is another lesson in this, in that major events, being unpredictable as they are, also render useless the often made argument that they are ‘outliers’ and that in general it is perfectly fine to operate differently; say, in a ‘woke’ manner.   Tell that to the families of the 500 people in Italy who have died.  Or, tell it to the families of the 3,000 who died on 9-11, when, due to lax immigration policies and failures of the US government, 20ish hostile actors used our systems against us to murder them.  Or, tell it to the families of American troops killed or maimed in the response to 9-11.  You can continue it further, if you like:  tell it to the families of the Afghanis and Iraqis who likewise suffered in the chain of effects following from that one bureaucratic blunder.

As we speak, there may be a ‘suitcase nuke’ being smuggled across the southern border… or perhaps arrived some time ago already, and tomorrow we will wake up and NYC, with its millions of people, is incinerated.  That is, if the 60,000 a year that die from drugs originating outside our country aren’t enough for you to be concerned.  This is more than were killed in the ten years of the Vietnam War, or, if you wish, about half of those who died in Hiroshima.

It is easy to fall into the trap that there is such a thing as ‘normal.’  In the actual world, dangers abound, and some of them are off the scale.  Some, though not all, of these can be mitigated simply by having strong borders defended by solid public servants.  Recent history alone is enough to justify the inconveniencing of people at our border, rather than, say, putting the ENTIRE country of the United States into quarantine.

Just hypothetically, though.  Whole countries don’t go into quarantine.  LOL, I mean, what a stupid thing to even think is possible.  ikr?

More to come, as I have time.  I am violating my own ‘wait a few days’ rule, because in this case, we may wake up tomorrow, literally, and have all these things fall upon our heads.

 

 

 

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