Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2020/ COVID-19 A Week Later

COVID-19 A Week Later

What a difference a week makes. Last week, I wrote up an unpublished entry pooh-poohing the COVID-19 outbreak. I even used the phrase "Bah Humbug". I was so grateful that I had not published that entry, because I did not want to look even stupider than I do already.

What's changed in a week?

Ironically, I am writing this from a conference room, but few people showed up to the conference. I think I am going to stop publicizing events (how did I become the bad guy for publicizing events?), and I won't be attending much.

I guess I regret that previous entry now, huh? Sort of. I still feel that comparing the flu to COVID-19 is not whataboutism. I still feel that the protections we take against COVID-19 are similar to those we should be using for the flu, except that now we are supposed to be taking those interventions seriously and actually washing our hands regularly.

I strongly feel this has been an induced panic. If we tracked flu infections and death with the same breathlessness we have been giving to COVID-19, we would all be freaked out about the flu as well, regardless of the transmissivity and fatality.

I continue to feel that this issue touches all of our risk perception buttons, being novel and sudden and seemingly under human control.

However, I am shocked to see that we have actually curbed air travel, and even taken social isolation seriously. I feel embarrassed to be attending this conference, in fact. Our economy must be grinding to a halt.

In some ways I am pretty angry with how we have thrown meetups under the bus. Social distancing is a form of social isolation, and there are consequences to isolation too.

Similarly, I am somewhat upset by the narrative that taking courses online is an acceptable replacement for in-person teaching. Now we are all scrambling to learn online conferencing system, which will be used to justify getting rid of in-person lectures.

In some ways I am pretty angry with the narrative that we should be obligated to "work from home". It is another ploy to make us believe we should merge our work and private lives and be on call 24/7. If we can all work from home why shouldn't we? (I have found I do not work well from home at all. I guess that means I am even more unemployable than I thought.)