Six plus months into the Covid-19 epidemic and the virus has turned into a kind of numbers game; time will tell which one- and how many of our precious numbers is up.

The Trump administration is pushing to reopen much of the country next month, raising concerns among health experts and economists of a possible covid-19 resurgence if Americans return to their normal lives before the virus is truly stamped out.

Behind closed doors, President Trump — concerned with the sagging economy — has sought a strategy for resuming business activity by May 1, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In phone calls with outside advisers, Trump has even floated trying to reopen much of the country before the end of this month, when the current federal recommendations to avoid social gatherings and work from home expire, the people said. Trump regularly looks at unemployment and stock market numbers, complaining that they are hurting his presidency and reelection prospects, the people said.

The counting and weighing of numbers: vote numbers versus death numbers: (pseudo-economic) cynicism has become the operating system for our society. Because of its crass banality (in the Adolf Eichmann sense) we must bury our systems approach behind layers of denial.

The virus is in the drivers seat and we will go where it takes us. How long will the ride last? Maybe two more years in America and the West, the time it takes to develop, test and deploy a vaccine, longer if the vaccine is less than effective. We are in a race against our own chauffeur. It has one tactic: multiply itself as fast as it can inside us. Our tactic?

Lie about the virus. Pretend it is going to ‘stamp itself out’ as if by magic, by command of the king.

Our leaders are now offering human sacrifices like the Aztecs. Why not? One death is a tragedy a million deaths is a statistic. We stopped being Keynesians sometime around the ‘Dot-Com crash’: we are all Josef Stalins in miniature now.

One person was the source for an epidemic that has infected the world in about 6 months. If one can turn the entire human enterprise on its head in the blink of an eye, what will millions infected do? What happens when the virus expands in the world’s giant slum countries: India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria? What happens when there are hundreds of millions- or billions infected instead of one? How do we … isolate ourselves?

A day earlier, Attorney General William P. Barr had called some of the stay-at-home orders and other restrictions “draconian” and suggested that they needed to be reevaluated next month.

“When this period of time, at the end of April, expires, I think we have to allow people to adapt more than we have, and not just tell people to go home and hide under their bed, but allow them to use other ways — social distancing and other means — to protect themselves,” Barr said on Fox News.

Our beds cannot save us from our chauffeur.

A virus that travels on airplanes as casually as a carry on bag, on containerships, cruise liners, in automobiles and every other means of transport: on surfaces, on our money; how do we keep it at bay? It is everywhere in the world, even Antarctic waters. Where is refuge? How do we respond when the virus responds to ‘reopening the economy’ by expanding exponentially?

Despite official denials, expanding exponentially is something our virus is proven to do. It’s humbling and scary for us to realize we are just food for something else, we’re invited to lunch and we’re the main course.

We humans pretend we are masters of all we can see. Viruses are as old as the stars, a billion years or more, half-way between life and non-life. They evolved to multiply within the single-cell organisms that first inhabited the shallow seas on our new planet: we humans are biological parvenus, only a couple million years. Our immunity is imperfect. Our social complexities amplify the virus’ attack. It is nature putting us in our place. Nature is the real master for the moment. Until a vaccine arrives, we must enjoy the ride … and maybe learn from it.

And learn we will, one way or the other, want to or not.

We’ve been experiencing one plague after another since the turn of the millennium: wildfires, floods, massive storms, locusts, plant and animal diseases, droughts, now human pestilence. This is a tuneup for overcoming/surviving climate change and peak oil. Maybe we need to change our ways.

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