CoVid-19 Corona Virus and Social Distancing: This Is Difficult

This corona virus, CoVid-19, originally from Wuhan, China, has decimated parts of China, and especially Wuhan. China’s control strategies were brutal. Here in the West we cannot implement the rough measures that China took. Instead we have opted for rigorous contact tracing investigations, blocking borders and social distancing. I don’t know if this will be sufficient to control the virus. We can only wait and see. For certain, our regular way of life must change, We’re not going back to normal, and for many months.

The CCP has employed a number of significant steps to control the Wuhan corona virus. These include shutting down not only regions and cities, but also within a city, block by block and individual apartment groups, streets and stores. Passing any of these required ID (shenfenzheng/government ID or the newer QR code), temperature checks, as well as a face mask. This is done multiple times for each shopping trip: leave building, on road, enter shopping area, enter store, and then the reverse. Only a limited number of people could enter a store at a single time, so people may have to line up outside, with a meter between people. A new system was created to give each person a QR code, for easier ID. The QR code is rated green (ok to shop), yellow (1 week quarantine), or red (2 weeks quarantine). QR codes are registered to a phone number.

The Chinese government’s response has traumatized its people, who have lost loved ones in a tragic way and has scarred those that have been left behind. China’s brutal steps to control virus spread seem near inhumane, but they have reduced the spread of the virus. While there are costs, it seems people feel it may be worthwhile.

Western countries could not implement such an Orwellian, dystopian system. We would have a revolt before giving up our legal rights. We have, alternately, opted for “social distancing”, or SD. SD is essentially anti-social. Stay away from large crowds, stay in your house, dont’ go to restaurants, shops, the gym, close all schools, day cares, nurseries. In all, reduce your interaction in public with others.

Our libraries, pools, community centers, gyms, restaurants, schools, day cares are all closed. We can do take-out food, but not dine in. Grocery stores are still open. Industries affected include travel, entertainment, education, and retail, to name a few. There are also secondary effects for all working families, No one will be excluded.

This is ultimately anti-social. It is against all our social rules and a major disruption to our social order. It is rude and lacks etiquette. Not only does our society does not encourage this behaviour, but frowns on it. For all of these reasons, it is bound to fail.

What we are being asked to do is anti-human, but for this short time we must do this in order to reduce the immediate risk of contracting this corona virus. This will be difficult and cannot be sustained without psychological damage. The reason for SD is to “flatten the curve”, as is being touted in the news: reduce the infections now so that our hospitals are not overrun with cases, which would cause the total collapse of our heath care system. “Flattening the curve” does not reduce the number of infections, but pushes out the infections so that our hospitals are not overrun, but just at peak capacity and not over. In the meantime we wait 1-2 years for a vaccine to be discovered, tested and distributed.

There are some alternatives:

  • Herd Immunity: infect everyone and get it over with. The problem is that some percentage, even if it is 1%, will die. This 1% will quickly overrun our health care system. Deaths in this scale cannot be tolerated.
  • Status Quo: This is what happened to Wuhan early on, and is now happening in Italy and Spain. Their hospitals are overrun and cannot cope. Ventilators are insufficient in number, Patients are triaged and not all taken care of. Further, normal illnesses cannot be looked at, makeing a lot more people vulnerable. This is also unacceptable.

No one knows the answer, as this has never been done before. The widespread lockdowns done in China are unprecedented and therefore not known to work. We wait and see. SD and rigorous contact tracing is the West’s best weapons to controlling this virus.

We cannot wait 1-2 years under SD. This is too long. It is thought that SD can be modulated up and down as hospitals cope with patients. For example if there is a lull in the virus spread and hospitals have extra capacity, then maybe we can relax SD rules. When the virus grows stronger then we tighten up SD rules. While this sounds doable in theory, this is not how our society works. Business require a constant flow of customers to survive. An ebb and tide of customers means businesses go bankrupt. Schools and day cares also cannot function like this. There are significant issues with the ebb and flow SD methodology. The answer is unclear.

Each 6 days the virus will double if not controlled. Each day we participate in this biology experiment.

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