Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Final Solution: Mr. Clean

Children are taught to clean up the mess they’ve made—soon after they get out of the high chair and are no longer allowed to think it’s funny when they throw their food. But the operation involves prehensile motor skills that are part of human development and allow for a fairly expeditious remedying of most spills. You tip over a class of milk and you learn to get a sponge or washcloth to wipe away the puddle. That’s what’s disconcerting about life in a pandemic like the one the world is currently enduring. There aren’t simple solutions. Corona appears to be a wily virus which is able to attack many different vulnerabilities of the immune system at the same time. The latest evidence comes by way of a number of cases of Kawasaki Disease--that involves inflammation of the blood vessels in children who have contracted Covid-19. The MTA is closing subways from 1-5 in the morning to allow for sanitization of cars. New Yorkers and inhabitants of most populated areas are cautioned to shelter-in-place and social distance by keeping six feet away  from others. Masks are de rigueur. However, one problem leads to another. South Korea lauded for its comprehensive testing which allowed an opening up the country experienced a resurgence of the outbreak, which catalyzed a return to more restrictive social distancing policies ("As South Korea Eases Limits, Virus Cluster Prompts Seoul to Close Bars,NYT, 5/9/20). Hurricanes leave paths of destruction in their wake, but once the storm has gone away the protocols are usually clear. In the case of the virus, no obvious plan or path is suggested. As soon as one mess has been cleaned up, another manifests.

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