Journaling the Coronavirus (COVID19) Pandemic, Reflection #54

May 3, 2020

Lake Geneva, WI

The next step

Yes, six states have eased up on their ‘stay-at-home’ rules, and hopefully, more will follow in rapid succession. As I have attempted to illustrate in articles in this Journal, the dangers of social and economic destruction (and the resultant more silent deaths) could far outweigh the deaths from the virus. The headlines in the Chicago Tribune are all about tracking today. How to install a flock of ‘trackers’ who would go out, question people who have gotten the virus, find out their contacts, and then isolate those contacts. Isolation, so far, would be informal (voluntary) with only relatives and family notified that the subject must be isolated.

It would entail placing this contacted person in a separate room of a house or apartment for three weeks (or some identified an unnamed facility). The details were left out of the article. Would the isolated person be allowed to leave the room? What would the isolation rules entail, and then what kind of enforcement would follow the simple fact that voluntary isolation of this exclusionary kind would not be followed very dependably? The contact people being considered for the job (100,000 nationwide and 3,800 in Illinois) would not be health care workers or police, or any of that. They’d be regular citizens without jobs hired to the task.

That brings up another problem. What if the contact people get pretty upset at being designated contact and being required to self-quarantine based upon some associate’s, or employee’s or whomever’s word? What kind of heat might the contact contractor delivering the rather devastating news suffer through?

There were few masks in downtown Lake Geneva yesterday, and the town was filled. There was no obedience at all to the social distancing guidelines. How long can this country stay locked down before it explodes out of mixed monied success, right next door poverty, and into the Twilight Zone? Self-discipline is not a hugely popular set of threads running through the weave of the American social fabric.

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