Summary: The responses to my posts about the COVID-19 epidemic and my discussions with people (neighbors, fellow workers) reveal that a horrifying epidemic has spread across America. It can destroy America unless each of us fights back.
Many factors helped America has become a great and powerful nation despite our many weaknesses. High among them has been our strong social cohesion, which has carried us though some difficult time. Most notably, the Civil War and its aftermath (many nations never fully recover from such a bloody internal rift). Also, the Great Depression – where we avoided a near-collapse (e.g., France) and fall into fascism. WWII, where we mobilized faster and more fully than the front-line states of Britain and Germany (Hitler declared war because his experts grossly underestimated this). Most recently, by working through the peaceful civil rights movement that led to the great civil rights laws of 1964 and 1965 (finally ending the civil war by integrating African Americans) and the violent race riots of the 1965 – 1975 (armed troops in our inner cities each summer).
The comments about COVID-19, like those about terrorism in the five years after 9/11, show a fearful and mistrustful people. People who believe rumors and fringe sources (often ones that frequently circulate lies), and reflexively disbelieve expert sources and institutional voices. People whose fears have mastered them.
This is awful for two reasons. First, it diminishes our ability to stand together in adversity and strongly respond to our leaders. This comes easily to communitarian societies, like those in East Asia (has China has demonstrated in the past two months). It is difficult for societies built on respect for individual rights. We have to choose to stand together, which requires trust in each other, in ourselves collectively, and in our elected leaders.
Without this, we are a rabble – no matter what wealth and power we command.
Second, this is an America ready for a revolution, eager to find leaders with big promises whom they can blindly follow. We are a rabble seeking to become a rabble in arms. This is how democracy ends.
Epidemics, depressions, and wars are natural aspects of life. If not today, then we will suffer them today. If we become weak, one of these ills will knock our society down. For our society to survive, each of us must stay rooted and stay connected to our communities and nation.
Fear and distrust are diseases. They can spread faster than any virus and destroy societies faster than an army of tanks
It’s easy to follow the coronavirus story
The World Health Organization provides daily information, from highly technical information to news for the general public.
- There is their daily situation report, with detailed numbers.
- The Director-General of WHO gives frequent briefings, which are quite insightful.
- Their daily press briefings have more information. An audio goes up quickly afterwards. A transcript is posted the next day.
Posts about the coronavirus epidemic.
- The 2019-nCoV virus shows that we’ve built a better world.
- Hidden news about the epidemic sweeping across America! – How fake news drives out good news.
- Amazing but hidden news about coronavirus – Update about the epidemic, and why so few know the good news.
- Lessons from the coronavirus about climate change.
- Cut thru myths to see facts about COVID-19.
- Blockbuster news from China about COVID-19.
- China shows us a future of the epidemic and the world.
- A devastating epidemic spreads across America – an epidemic of fear and mistrust.
- COVID-19 goes global. What works against it?
- Soon we’ll see if the US can defend itself again COVID-19.
- A situation report on the hidden news about COVID-19.
- The COVID-19 story: mistakes were made.
- Important: Some good news about COVID-19.
For More Information
- See the ugly cost of the next big flu pandemic. We can do more to prepare.
- Stratfor: The superbugs are coming. We have time to prepare.
- Posts debunking the hysteria about the 2009 swine flu in America.
- Posts debunking the hysteria about the 2015 ebola epidemic in America.
- Important: A vaccine against the fears that make us weak.
Films about scientists responding to global threats
In these films, we see scientists behaving according to their and our highest ideals.
When Worlds Collide (1959) – The world will end. Scientists band together to warn the world and build an ark to carry humanity to another home. It is a great film! The 1933 book by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer is even better than film.
Contagion (2011). – This shows the progress of a pandemic from its start with Patient Zero, through the global devastation, to an eventual victory by the world’s scientists.