When Do We Worry? #WuFlu #Wuhan

Now What.

by Shelt Garner

Remember, 1 million Chinese people could die in the next few weeks and it would still not be enough to cancel the Superbowl. But one white person keels over on 5th Ave and suddenly that happens. (Systemic racism is a hell of a drug.)

I don’t expect WuFlu to be a problem. I see it as simply another Ebola. If it’s used for political ends it will be more a reflection of the polarization of American political life than anything else. But let’s imagine the worst happened and suddenly a dozen (white) people dropped in the middle of the street in various major cities across the United States.

If that happened anytime soon, they might cancel the Superbowl and Republicans would use it as an excuse to “vindicate” Trump even sooner than they might otherwise. Or, the WuFlu might be the first be crisis the Fourth Reich faced after its birth.

Some things to take into consideration — apparently WuFlu is a lot like smallpox in that there’s about two weeks between when you get it and when you start to feel ill enough that you might go to the doctor. That’s a lot of international travel you might undertake. Also, on a macro historical scale, commerce and pestilence are very much intertwined. The Black Death only happened because of the potency of the Silk Road that only existed because of the stability that the Mongol Empire provided. That also works in reverse, commerce could very well come to a halt on a macro scale if WuFlu shuts down all forms of international transportation — the moment that breaks down, the lives of every day people will begin to be affected in some pretty big ways.

Also, it might be only one (white) person dropping in NYC to cause a panic that would only make matters worse. People would stop going to work. People wouldn’t send their kids to school. States, then cities, then towns might self-quarantine in an effort to save themselves. When the lights go out on a massive scale, then you don’t have access to the Internet or other forms of mass media.

A lot of smaller nations — DPRK and Iran — would likely use a significant pandemic as an excuse to achieve otherwise unobtainable geopolitical goals. China might strike Taiwan as well.

I don’t expect any of that to happen. I really don’t.

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