Recrudescence

Today, guidelines from our government for countering the coronavirus are increasingly becoming mandates. And they are stripping us of more and more freedoms. And we Americans are rising to the occasion and surrendering our freedoms without a whimper or complaint. It’s no surprise. When faced with a common enemy, we are accustomed to standing in solidarity and making sacrifices to defeat our adversary.

The problem is, when the government takes our freedoms away, it has historically been reluctant to give them back.

Trump recently promised the current guidelines will only be for 15 days. But then he let the cat out of the bag and said that this could stretch until August. I sense we’re being strung along down a path of ever tighter control over our lives.

But it’s all for a good cause, right? Maybe, but I feel skeptical. And I feel skeptical because of recrudescence. In medical terms, recrudescence is the recurrence of a disease.

I feel doubtful that enforced social distancing is going to defeat the coronavirus in a short time. It seems to me that the more successful we are at social distancing, the more prolonged our agony will be. And the more likely our sacrifices will exceed the benefits gained.

Sure, we’ll flatten the curve and avoid spikes of serious cases that overwhelm our hospitals. And that’s great. But in the meantime the coronavirus will linger and resurge. That’s because not enough of our population will have acquired the immunity we would otherwise obtain from contracting this disease.

And so recrudescence will occur, over and over. And we will experience a cycle of relaxed restrictions, then renewed restrictions, over and over. Or more likely, the government will just decide to keep the restrictions permanent, and never bother with relaxing them.

We now stand a very real likelihood of going for months, years, or perhaps forever, without the following things:

  • Classroom education.
  • Airline travel, bus travel, and other forms of mass transit.
  • Freedom to travel outside our communities or countries for “non-essential” reasons.
  • The manufacture, sale, or purchase of many goods and services deemed “non-essential” by the government.
  • Freedom of assembly.
  • Government deliberations that are open to the public, such as city council meetings, court trials, and legislative debates.

Millions of jobs may also disappear under a prolonged policy of social distancing.

A black market may emerge, similar to that which arose in the Soviet Union, and other authoritarian states that have had highly regulated economies. And with this black market will come widespread corruption, murders of innocents, and an economic system where only the most violent can rise from poverty.

Have we Americans thought this through? Or are we too afraid to speak out against this abrogation of our freedoms, for fear of being labeled thoughtless or selfish? Or have I just read too much George Orwell?

Perhaps it’s the latter, and I hope so. Nonetheless, I suggest you buckle your seat belt. We may have a very long and bumpy ride ahead of us.

And that scary, tough guy who lives down the street? You know, the one with the guns, criminal history, and scofflaw attitude. You better start waving and smiling at that motherfucker, and treating him nice. One day you may depend on him for getting the goods and services our government is making impossible to acquire.

In fact, one day, perhaps long after the coronavirus has become a memory, he may be the new disease. Because guys like him may have the run of our neighborhoods.

Recrudescence.

37 comments

  • Well as much as I don’t want to,I can’t deny that there could be a lot of truth in your thoughts. We already know that Trump would love to be a dictator, so is this providing a way for him to get there? I am really hoping that you just read too much of George Orwell!! I do think though that it will go longer than 15 days unless things really change fast for numbers just keep rising.

    Now I am going to go escape to my fictional world to write a story, where there is no corona virus and no Trump! Oh if only I could make my stories true sometimes!

    Liked by 2 people

  • I really hope that the checks and balances every government should have in place will prevent this scenario, TG. Trump seems to be able to run unchecked so far though, so that’s not encouraging. I am very afraid for your country (and mine!) because I think too many people are already infected. I suspect we will be in lockdown within the next couple of weeks as I don’t think we took action in time to flatten the curve enough.
    Stay safe and healthy.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is frightening for everyone around the world. And I’m not sure if we should be more afraid of the virus, or the response to the virus.
      If your country, like ours, didn’t take timely action to flatten the curve, then I see no point in lockdowns. The genie is already well out of the bottle, and I doubt lockdowns would slow it down much.

      Like

  • These are definitely scary things that have crossed my mind but I try not to think about. I agree if no one is in contact with the virus how do they gain immunity. People get so clean they get sick. lol

    Ugh. Where’s your funny post about toilet paper or the lack there of it?!

    Liked by 2 people

  • I’m afraid I can’t agree. The whole point is to stop the surge of sickness, because we’re just not ready for it. Yes this will eventually become just another strain like a flu, and it will recur every year. Well so does the flu, but we’re prepared for that. Have vaccines. Know how to treat it. We don’t know squat about this new one, and that’s what makes it so dangerous (not to mention the higher death rate). If the mortality rate were 50% instead of 4%, would you feel the same? Even 4% represents a lot of death – are we willing to sacrifice some freedoms and some measure of our economy to try and prevent that? Do we care about each other? I think we have to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess we’ll not be in agreement on this. As to the 4% death rate, that’s of the confirmed cases. Many cases are not confirmed, due to lack of testing. An infected person who only gets a little sick is less likely to be tested. And apparently, about 80% of infected people only get a little sick.
      But speaking of 50%, I worry that might become our unemployment rate if draconian measures continue. People in poverty and homelessness tend to die more frequently than those who have jobs and can support themselves. I worry that more people will die due to our extreme reaction to this pandemic, than will die from Covid itself.

      Like

      • You can worry but none of the science or the predictions match your concern. Either we trust people who are trained to look at this or we trust our guts. I know which way I’m betting but everyone will be different.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I suspect after this is all over, both sides on this subject will be able to point at data to justify their positions.
          Neither scientists nor economists have encountered a pandemic like this before, and they are all making educated guesses. I believe that sometimes gut instincts can prevail over the experts, especially in cases like this.
          I would point out that Hong Kong has not enacted any lockdowns, and now their only new cases are coming from people entering from foreign countries, such as Europe.
          And so I doubt that these lockdowns are necessary.

          Like

          • You let a pandemic get loose and bypass you and you wreck your economy with plenty of dead people to deal with. This way there’s a fighting chance. I don’t agree with you at all, but that’s the whole point of discussion.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Heh-heh. Yeah true. I’m using my best judgment, but I have been known to be wrong in the past. I think I’m allowed one mistake per year. Maybe two.
              Last month the World Health Organization was not recommending lockdowns, such as were going on in China, but rather of striking a balance between public health and the economy. I’m not sure if they’ve changed that position at all. But striking a balance does make sense to me.

              Liked by 1 person

  • It’s always good to be skeptical, and we haven’t heard enough of these concerns about losing our freedoms and more importantly — how do we get them back? That said, I think spreading people out and slowing this virus down is the right answer — for now. If/when we find a treatment that keeps most people from serious lung problems, that’s when we can treat covid-19 like any other flu.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Trump wants us OUT of our homes, back to work, packing the church pews on Easter. Because the deficit worsens the longer people remain unemployed, and the economy can’t recover without people working and other people buying the things they produce. If the economy stays in a slump, Trump’s chances of re-election are slim. I’m more afraid he will force us OUT of our homes before it’s “safe” than force us to stay IN them for months.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have mixed feelings about it. Poverty and homelessness shortens lives also, and not just the coronavirus. The question in my mind is how many people will die as a result of our reaction to the virus, compared to those who will die as a result of the virus.
      If unemployment surges up to 30 to 50%, then I worry that the cure may be worse than the ailment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. This is a bigger crisis than it needs to be because we have inadequate social safety nets. We need to increase minimum wage to a living wage, institute UBI and Medicare for All, universal child care, and paid time off commensurate to European countries. We need to fund or decrease the cost of higher education so people can afford to buy homes, have kids, and spend on commodities. We need to work toward carbon neutrality and clean energy before it’s too late. There are killer viruses buried in the permafrost and they will be unleashed if the earth continues to heat up. Everything Bernie Sanders is proposing is necessary for our future well-being.

        Liked by 1 person

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