Sounds like a precious argument to me. China had essentially beaten the virus by the time people in America began to be infected. In late February, China was stable, most of the cases were recovering, new cases were a trickle. Right now, they are down to a daily handful over a population of 1.5 billion.

In contrast, despite knowing exactly how to handle the disease, America now has more total cases than China, and deaths are mounting up. In the next three days, there will be a total of a quarter of a million cases, and deaths surpassing China’s. Three days after that, half a million, then a million, two million and so on.

Death rate currently at 1.5% but once local medical facilities become overloaded, expect that to go much higher.

Alarmingly, airlines and airports are still operating, internal borders open, people are spreading the disease at every level. When there are a dozen other passengers within two metres, there’s no social isolation.

I wouldn’t be so sanguine if I were you. America’s in for a solid economic hit and your national leadership doesn’t appear to have understood the situation. Weeks went past with little or no preparation; in fact, there was nothing but denial from the top.

Even now, scenes of events from within the White House reveal no social distancing in effect. Officials crowded shoulder to shoulder for the cameras. These folk are at high risk, simply because they interact with others from a wide variety of sources, and you have them crowded into the same space as your national command.

Worse, those who see Don Trump as a role model will follow his example.

Bottom line: there is no vaccine for this. Physical measures are all we have. In Australia, we see that 90% isolation works — about the same level as China reached. 80% and the thing hangs around. But 70%, and you might as well not bother: it spreads.

What sort of isolation are you seeing right now? Not even close to half, I’ll bet, judging by those planes flying all over.

You guys are toast.


Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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