There has been much revealed by the pandemic. All of it having to do with human behaviour and what’s wrong with that. Here, in no particular order, are some of the things we should take note of.
1). Never let your country become dependent on another for vital goods like food, clothing, housing, energy, or medical supplies.
2). Viruses happen. This was not the first outbreak nor will it be the last. It is possible to have plans of action at the ready to prevent the level of severity we’ve seen with this one, and a few basic precautions would reduce the effects of all sorts of diseases we normally put up with as a matter of course.
4). Even though only about 25% of people are staying home (over and above the number who normally do), pollution levels have dropped drastically around the world. HINT, HINT.
5). When it comes right down to it, essential workers don’t include CEOs.
6). A lot of what we think is necessary in our lives (and indeed in our society) really isn’t. Most of what we’re doing without is superfluous to our existence anyway.
7). The economy exists to serve people, not the other way around.
8). Hoarding is just another sign of selfishness, ignorance, and stupidity. It doesn’t matter if it’s toilet paper or money that is hoarded.
9). There are no rights other than those granted by the society in which we live. Society has the obligation to make rules it deems necessary for the continuance of the society, and it’s not totalitarianism to require people to refrain from behaviour that is damaging to themselves or others. In fact all law is based on that principal.
10). Putting morons and/or egomaniacs in charge of your country is a really, really bad idea. To further democracy, some form of intelligence test should be required for office holders and voters.
11). People who take advantage of others during times of crisis are the lowest form of humanity and should be permanently eliminated from society upon discovery.
12). The average citizen is really bad at managing an inventory of their own household. No wonder countries have difficulty keeping emergency supplies on hand.
13). If you think there’s things more important than being alive, you should take your own … advice.
14). There are entire industries we do not need at all; they serve only as detriments to society despite their appearance as having a positive effect.
15). Cities are a bad idea. The worst hit places during this pandemic are those with the highest population density. This is a microcosm of the world problem in general.
16). People are slobs. Things like single-use plastics are not a problem in and of themselves; only the improper disposal of them after use is. If it’s just tossed on the ground it doesn’t matter what kind of trash it is, it will do damage.
17). The concept of “economic growth” is a myth which has contributed greatly to the current over-all crisis, including facilitating the spread of the disease. Earth’s resources are finite, and only a few can be recovered once used. That recovery requires input of more energy, most of which comes in the form of fossil fuels which are also ultimately finite.
18). An economy based on the sale of new consumer items is idiotic and doomed to failure. Nothing is more damaging to the world than “throw-away” consumerism.
19). Everything has two ecological costs: the ‘capital’ and the ‘operating’. It is wrong to assume they are interchangeable or easily equitable. Encouraging people to buy new cars, for example, by offering bonuses to trade in “clunkers” falsely assumes the operating ecological cost improvement offsets the capital one.
20). Manufacturing of products that are out of sync with social goals is majorly detrimental to the world: e.g. “supercars”, which have no practical real-world application and therefor should not be in production.
We have a unique opportunity right now to recognize our failings and massively re-align society into something more sustainable. Inevitably we won’t do it as it will be far easier to fall back into the same sad habits that caused the crisis in the first place.
About a week and a half after Easter our new cases numbers here suddenly spiked. We went from having less than 30 new cases every day for four days to 71 in one day. This coincides with the predictions of results based on the number of people who decided to ignore the distancing rules and go play on the holiday. We are expecting continued high numbers from now on. Thank you, idiots, for not following the rules. The next holiday in May is likely to produce a similar upsurge, and will no doubt bring it into our area here. At that point it will be extremely difficult for me to avoid it, and I’ve only got a couple of N95 fire masks left.
It’s been fun. Ciao.