Recrudescence: A Flashback

Two years ago today, when the coronavirus was emerging on the scene, I posted a commentary entitled Recrudescense. I sounded a lot of warnings and made some doom-and-gloom predictions in that post. Looking back, it seems some of those prophecies came true, and some (thank heavens) did not.

Lightness Traveling, at Luminous Aether, recently commented on this old post, after I’d forgotten all about it. Her comment inspired me to take the title literally, and repost it. I thought it might be fun to compare how things have turned out, to my predictions, so I hope you’ll enjoy the following flashback:


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.


Categories: coronavirus

35 replies »

  1. Well, there is a component shortage, but it is probably more due to more extreme purchasing reactions by industry that anything else.

    It is hard to say what the situation would have looked like with alternate measures. Who knows? But at least I can easily afford and acquire toilet paper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if it’s that hard to say. I think it’s easy. Look at Florida. They ended mandates after just a few months. And South Dakota never had mandates. From the statistics, it seems neither state had any significant difference in cases or deaths, per capita, from those states that had lots of restrictions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are a large interconnected country and state lines are just lines on a map somewhere anyway.
        Most of the data is nearly useless anyway. If we tested more over one period of time than we did another, then we find more infections when we tested more. Death certificates are filled out and counted in different ways.
        With or without the restrictions, it just takes a small percentage of the population to be stupid and make it worse for everyone anyway.

        But, we have seen how the population will respond to a pandemic – like toddlers who don’t get what they want. If it was a more serious disease, it would have been a true disaster.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Thankfully, many of the scenarios you were concerned about haven’t become reality. Probably because you weren’t the only one who saw the dangers and there was an effort to avoid them from a variety of directions.

    In my state (IL), mask usage is now optional – if you are fully vaccinated. That’s on an honor system, of course, since no one wants to die on that hill with those who have routinely scoffed at mask use, and defiantly fought against any enforcement of such.

    My sister has concerns as someone in her home works with the elderly, and another has a fragile health situation/suppressed immunities. So she is the only one in her office who routinely wears a mask all day, as there is no room for social distancing in their floor design. I feel her anxiety and anguish, too.

    As for me, I enjoy living alone, and happily have been working from home because of the C-19 considerations of my employer. It’s saved me a lot of gas money, though I did take a 6% pay cut that will never be restored by any means other than merit raises. I am not complaining as for most of 2020 I was working reduced hours as well. I was restored to full time in 2021, and I’m glad to be making the better wages as a result.

    I managed to thrive during this pandemic, because of the change in not traveling 116 miles to work and back each day. I have enjoyed the pickup and delivery options from the grocery stores that were not overly costly, and am re learning how to accept invitations to birthday parties as well as holiday gatherings. Very thankful I wasn’t one of those who died or got the long term effects from C-19, but I have lost a few relationships from C-19 related deaths.

    It’s a mixed bag for me.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I have been told that my client (I work for a staffing agency) is fine with my working at home until the project is terminated. It never will be for a variety of reasons, so I’ll be able to keep this job going until I wish to retire from it. I may stay with it as a part-timer, though. I really like the work I do, and the people I work with, and I generally don’t do anything much on days I’ve had off when I had such grand plans for the day…(blush).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, like I said before… I told you so. 😉

    Looking at the bigger picture, I think the US is simply starting to have to accept the reality of competing with an overall larger and more productive (and more consuming) rest-of-the-world population. And some of the same things that have historically insulated the US (and Canada) from the effects of the likes of limited resources, war and overpopulation are now becoming problems. We’re finding ourselves at the physical limits of the supply chain, our wealth has made us complacent, and maintaining all we’ve created has become an overwhelming economic burden. Every great nation has its time in the sun.

    More disturbing to me were the quiet admissions of failure… the normalization of government redistributions of wealth while we were all distracted by the hand-wringing and statistical machinations… and yes, a whole lot of unnecessary death. I remember my dad saying that it was always wise to read the back pages of the newspapers when big headlines were holding everyone’s attention. It’s when the fire burns on the front porch that the goodies disappear unnoticed out the back door. Ukraine demands the present headlines; so the disaggregated Covid statistics, vaccination and treatment regimen efficacy results, inflation numbers, and the big NY Times retractions should all be on the back page right about now.

    Liked by 2 people

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