What We’ve Learned About The Coronavirus Panic And Why I See Good Days Ahead

Man running.
Thomas Barwick via Getty Images

As the great philosopher Doris Day once told us, “The future’s not ours to see.” The idea that some people can predict what will happen next is mostly an illusion.

Optimists, those who think tomorrow will be fine, are almost always right — but when they are wrong, it’s because there’s a catastrophe and all those fine days they correctly predicted are forgotten. How could they have been so stupid as to have not seen this coming? Pessimists are usually wrong, but they will always be right eventually, and when they finally are right, we forget the 47 World Wars, 32 Apocalypses and 17 plagues they predicted wrongly, and we marvel at their foresight in spotting the current disaster before it hit.

All of which is to say that bad events affect our perceptions more than good events. This is probably a nasty but useful little gift from our old friend evolution, which whispers in our ear: “Good days come and go but death is permanent, so pay more attention to death.”

Most of the coverage of our present circumstance has been noise; meaningless nonsense. Our left-wing press has labored to make Donald Trump seem short-sighted in not seeing the Chinese Flu coming from afar. No one ever sees anything coming from afar except by chance or by constant negativity that finally hits the jackpot. Trump did fine.

On the Right, there are those who say the lockdown was an error and a few who say it was an evil plot to destroy the economy. They may be right about the error — we won’t know for a while and we may never know. But the fact that most countries shut down proves that it looked like the best idea at the time. Like the 20-20 hindsight media, the angry Right could express more wisdom by being silent.

Now it’s time to reopen with due caution and care. This will cause more flu deaths than if we stayed closed but will prevent other deaths and misery that would be caused by economic collapse.

Trump has got this exactly right. He has called on us to be “warriors,” and like warriors, to face one form of danger, from the Kung Flu, to prevent a greater danger, namely economic collapse. The news media has, you’ll be shocked to learn, attacked Trump for this. But if Barack Obama had said the same thing, Brian Stelter would be sobbing into his blankie at how inspiring it was. The news media is trash.

Thanks to Trump’s federalist approach — his unique and, to my mind, great achievement of not expanding the federal government in a crisis and thus allowing the states to react to local conditions — we have been able to see where good government resides and where it doesn’t.

Governor Cuomo in New York and Governor Wolf in Pennsylvania were incompetent fools who required that nursing homes accept infected people. Thousands died because of them. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles, and Bill DeBlasio in New York City are petty tyrants and knuckleheads. It’s not that all their precautions are worthless, it’s that their dictatorial methods are both morally wrong and likely to get bad results.

Greg Abbott in Texas, Brian Kemp in Georgia, Gary Herbert in Utah, Kristi Noem in South Dakota, and many other Governors seem to have acted with good judgement and a steady hand.

What will happen next? I think the economy will reopen whether the overbearing clowns want it to or not. I think people will sue to overturn the diktats of the diktat-makers and will protest to resist their oversteps. I think the flu will become part of our lives but will hopefully be weakened by medicines and by increased immunity.

I hope and suspect Donald Trump will win the next election. He is an eccentric character, but a good president, maybe even a great president. I sure don’t want to be governed by Nancy Pelosi playing socialist ventriloquist to a walking house plant.

If Trump does win, I think the economy will get back on track relatively quickly. I think within two years – by 2022 – we’ll be pushing forward into new territory, barring other disasters.

I think we have learned a lot of things that could be helpful. Now we know Trump was right about China. Because of flu coverage, MeToo coverage, and Obamagate, we’re now certain the news media is useless and must be reformed or replaced. Apparently, we’ve also learned a lot about coronaviruses. It wouldn’t surprise me if we came out of this with a cure for the common cold.

Obviously, other stuff will happen that is bad. This is still Planet Earth. The lockdown of Eden has not been rescinded. But at this moment, looking ahead, I see absolutely no reason for despair and a lot of reason for hope.

But then I’m an optimist. I’m only right almost always.

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