I’ll get back to writing my usual, divisive, nasty, Bernie Bro blog tomorrow (90% chance – if there’s a killer asteroid heading for Earth, or similar breaking news, then not).
Today, I want to talk about the Corona Virus. Up to this point, I’ve been one of those saying “Chill, people, it’s the flu but maybe a little worse. No cause for hysteria” and that’s still my basic position.
But it does seem to be spreading, the numbers seem to be doubling frequently, I’m seeing more and more people wearing masks, and it might get bad. Here in the Czech Republic, there are 19 confirmed cases, and just a day or two ago, that number was 8. No fatalities so far, touch wood.
The reaction of the Czech Government strikes me as a bit over the top. They’ve announced that any Czechs going to Italy will have to report to a doctor on their return and go into a two week quarantine. On the one hand, it’s fair because they’ve told everybody in advance. People who were planning a ski trip to Italy (the #1 reason Czechs go there) can cancel. There are other places to ski. But, for people who have tighter connections, Italian people living here, Czech people living there, people who have to go to Italy on business trips, truck drivers, etc…this will be a serious problem. It’s a barrier inside the EU. It’s the government suddenly assuming totalitarian force.
I must admit, above all, I don’t know. Maybe the government has information about this virus that I don’t. Maybe they are genuinely concerned about the welfare of the people (but the tone of voice in Babiš’s announcement was not kindly and humane – it was as harsh and condescending as the nastiest high school principal you’ve ever seen).
It sure looks bad. As worried as we all are about the Corona virus, I’m still more afraid of the government.