If the United States had quick-thinking and efficient leadership, the pandemic would have infected about 100,000 people and killed only a couple thousand. That’s the experience of South Korea, times seven to account for the difference in population. If the United States had overwhelmed but reasonably sensible leadership, the coronavirus pandemic would have racked up… Continue reading In the US, the Second Wave Is Already Here
Welcome to Chewing the Fat, our weekly talk show here at WXYZ. Today, we have a special treat for you — two guests who will answer the question on everyone’s mind. Should we stay at home in virtual quarantine or should we head out the front door and reopen the economy? The coronavirus pandemic is… Continue reading Death and the Economy: A Dialogue
The current pandemic has led to the postponement of elections around the world. Over 75 countries have declared some kind of state of emergency. Several illiberal leaders, like Viktor Orban, have used the crisis to seize virtually unlimited powers. The Chinese model of full-spectrum clampdown has elicited praise across the political spectrum for its apparent… Continue reading A Progressive Victory over the Coronavirus
The most insidious tactic of COVID-19 is to get a person’s body to attack itself. In the worst cases, the body’s autoimmune system essentially goes haywire as it tries to fight off infection. This “cytokine storm” can lead to serious inflammation in the lungs and ultimately to major organ failure. COVID-19 seems to have had a similar… Continue reading Will the EU Survive the Coronavirus?
During World War I, soldiers all along the Western front held a series of informal truces in December 1914 to commemorate Christmas. It was early in the war, and opposition had not yet hardened into implacable enmity. The military command, caught by surprise, could not impose complete battlefield discipline. An estimated 100,000 British and German… Continue reading We Need a Coronavirus Truce
The far right thrives on fear. It’s no surprise, then, that it would use the latest pandemic, which has generated widespread panic, to bolster its own agenda. All of the hallmarks of the far right are in play during the current crisis. It has pushed to close borders. It has demonized foreigners and particularly border-crossers.… Continue reading The Politics of the Coronavirus
A crisis, according to self-help and leadership books, reveals much about a person’s character. The same can be said of a nation’s character. Since the latest pandemic began to spread out of China in 2020, countries responded in very different ways to the challenge. There was ingenuity, inflexibility, incomprehension, and sheer incompetence. Diversity can be… Continue reading What the Coronavirus Says About Us
At a dinner party in mid-February, an architect told me that he was having a problem finishing his building projects. It was the carpets. Most wall-to-wall carpeting for big construction projects in the United States, he explained, comes from China. The coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan — and the subsequent shutdown of many Chinese factories —… Continue reading Will the Coronavirus Kill Globalization?