The way I see it, Trump can’t order people to work. He might think he’s the top dog, but as events of the past year have demonstrated, he’s just the yappiest puppy in the pound.

The various cities and states will do what they want. Right now in Australia there is only one interstate border open. I expect in America the same sort of thing will happen as local administrations seek to protect themselves.

Interesting research is that there is a big difference in outcomes. If 90% of people stay home and 10% fill essential services, this thing gets beat — that’s pretty much the Chinese experience, where food and other services remained open but heavily restricted. One member of each household could leave for food every three days, and so on.

If 80% stay isolated, it doesn’t vanish, but it doesn’t grow. But if 70% stay home and 30% go out, you might as well not bother. The story is here.

Around the world, what works and what doesn’t is becoming common knowledge through grim trial and error. Right now, America is the standout for infection growth. Italy and Spain are showing declining rates of increase, and will likely flatten out soon.

But your man in the White House is sabotaging the effort every time he opens his ignorant mouth. How many Americans think he speaks truth? If it’s 30% following his advice, you’re in trouble. It is quite possible to both destroy the economy and lose millions.

If this were an academic exercise in number crunching, it would be interesting. But it’s not. These are real people — some of them dear friends of mine — and more importantly, America is a close ally. If you guys go under, we’ve got to deal with those Chinese, and they play for keeps.


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

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