Friday, June 26, 2020

The Final Solution: Man Plans. God Laughs

Now Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are talking about quarantining people from states like Texas and Arizona where the coronavirus is peaking ("N.Y. Will Impose Quarantine on States With Big Outbreaks," NYT, 6/24/20) At one point several months ago the governor of Rhode Island briefly tried to stop cars with New York license plates (until Andrew Cuomo intervened) and there was a period when people driving even from New York to Long Island were supposed to quarantine themselves for 2 weeks once they’d arrive at some bucolic Hampton’s spot. Even though the EU has opened up its borders, it has decided to bar American tourists, at least for the present. The tables could easily be turned since quiescence is totally illusory as we have seen in the case of both Korea and China, two countries whose early declarations of victory turned out to be hollow when cases suddenly spiked (in the case of Korea when a single infected person infected nightclub patrons in Seoul). The coronavirus is peculiar, since it won’t be wrestled with, nor does it respond to displays of bravado. If there's an underlying powerlessness which characterizes the human condition, then the current pandemic may be one of the most lucid manifestations of how little control one has over anything. Man plans. God laughs.

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