Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Social Distancing Is Not Enough to Stop the Coronavirus

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Especially when so many people refuse to do it. Read this sobering column by Jonathan Chait in New York. From the column:

The national response that has taken shape over the last couple of days has been a patchwork of state, local, and private action. Some governors and mayors are shutting down schools or other public spaces. Others are not. The primary tool being used to contain the virus is advice to maintain “social distancing.” We should avoid large gatherings, maintain physical space from other people, wash our hands thoroughly and frequently.

For the most part, it is not working. A new NBC poll finds only 47 percent of Americans plan to avoid large gatherings, and just 36 percent say they will reschedule travel. The latter number may be misleading, as not everybody has travel plans to begin with. But social media has confirmed a broad picture of a public that has greeted the coming crisis with something close to indifference. Bars remain packed.

The task has been made far more difficult by a backlash from Republican officials, many of whom have either overtly or covertly undermined pleas from public officials. President Trump’s Friday news conference was an ill-advised display of handshaking and overconfidence. Republicans like Devin Nunes are urging people to hit the bars, feeding the misimpression they have spent weeks stoking that the virus is an overhyped plot to undermine the president. “In your more politically conservative regions, closing is not interpreted as caring for you. It’s interpreted as liberalism, or buying into the hype,” one pastor tells the Washington Post.

Written by Leisureguy

16 March 2020 at 3:37 pm

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