So it’s 70 days into lockdown, or about time I articulated some thoughts on the global pandemic that has shut down most of the world, killed hundreds of thousands, left scores of millions unemployed, and threatens to devastate almost every major economy on the planet.
First, let’s quickly recap some of the basic facts.
COVID-19 infects many people who don’t present symptoms, yet are contagious. That fact, combined with the fact that the virus is novel (there was no existing immunity), makes stopping the spread of the virus insanely difficult. It also defines the response: when you can’t readily identify who is contagious, it’s inevitable the quarantine net must be cast over everyone.
Just to stop outbreaks spreading like a rash through a population and completely overwhelming the capacity of any country’s healthcare system, racking up unconscionable death tolls, people must stop meeting with each other, stop mixing, stop touching things unnecessarily (especially their faces), and start washing their hands (a lot) and wearing masks in public. Enter lockdown.