I’m not sure what to think about the novel corona virus going around the globe like a case of HSV2 at Coachella.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people who will be glad to tell me what to think, but I’m stubborn and choose to evaluate the facts on my own.
Except in this case, the facts are coming from China, not a place known for free expression or communication.
What I do know, from years of watching hurricane forecasts and evacuation orders is that:
- disasters are really hard to predict. Even common ones like tornadoes, floods, and ice storms. It’s been a long time since the world has seen a global pandemic.
- it’s hard to gauge the strength of a storm at landfall– will it weaken, get stronger, fall apart? We are dealing with a virus of unknown strength. There’s uncertainty about the death rate because we aren’t able to detect how many people have it.
- We have an equation with multiple unknowns and a terrifying vision of the post-apocalyptic future brought to us by Stephen King’s The Stand.
Given all this, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Probably. Maybe.
Here’s the thing– we don’t have any way to gauge the effectiveness of preventive measures. If there’s no outbreak in the US, then were the precautions necessary in the first place or were they a success? Guess it depends on WHO spins it (pun intended).