It is pretty obvious what we need to do to get the coronavirus under control.

It is not rocket science; we simply lack the political will to do it.

The entire country needs to lock down again. The federal government needs to provide cash to individuals and small businesses to survive the six to eight weeks it will take.

It will suck, but probably not as much as it did the first time around (for those of us who actually did it, anyway), and it will leave us in a much better situation than our current never-ending limbo.

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It is creepy how close this is to reality.

Your School District’s Reopening Survey – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

Rest assured that no matter how you respond, it won’t matter whatsoever. We’ll come up with a plan in consultation with an anonymous team of stakeholders, three renowned local astrologists, a haphazard compendium of tweets, and a seance that will be held over Zoom (please find the login and password on page 576 of the town bylaws). We will also hold a listening session in ten minutes, if anyone’s around. Expect a link to be emailed shortly; please check your spam.

We welcome your feedback! Stay well!

— Your School District

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Simple-minded freedom

Why the Pandemic Is So Bad in America – The Atlantic:

Despite its epochal effects, COVID‑19 is merely a harbinger of worse plagues to come. The U.S. cannot prepare for these inevitable crises if it returns to normal, as many of its people ache to do. Normal led to this. Normal was a world ever more prone to a pandemic but ever less ready for one. To avert another catastrophe, the U.S. needs to grapple with all the ways normal failed us. It needs a full accounting of every recent misstep and foundational sin, every unattended weakness and unheeded warning, every festering wound and reopened scar.

COVID-19 was always going to be bad, but it did not have to be this bad. There is another virus (probably more than one) out there that will be worse.

There are plenty of people, decisions, and policies that are to blamed—and should explicitly be blamed—for Our Current Situation, but none more so than (as Yong puts it) our “fealty to a dangerous strain of individualism.”

Yes, we all have our freedoms, but we live together and we need one another. This is not rocket science—it is a balance we have managed to figure out in a bunch of different places. Unfortunately, we now have a nontrivial slice of our society that holds a cartoonish notion of freedom.

I don’t know how we overcome this crazy idea that no one is responsible for anyone besides themselves, but we’re going to have to figure that out if we want to survive.

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“Yeah, but there are hardly any cases here.”

I keep hearing this argument, usually as a justification for why some group gathering is fine, or for why this or that should be re-opened.

The problem is that we have to keep making the definition of “here” smaller and smaller. First it is the number of cases in the region, then in the state, then in the county, then in the city or town.

This is how the virus continues to spread. It’s why we are setting new records every day for the number of new infections.