If China did everything right on coronavirus

The world economy would have undeniably have been less affected due to the avoidance of inefficient and ineffective lockdowns, but there would have been, if anything, more worldwide deaths due to world leaders delaying travel bans. China would have also been criticized far more for turning Wuhan into a giant prison both for citizens and foreign visitors, as well as for failing to prevent the pandemic for going global. It is known coronavirus was in northern Italy from mid-December onwards, nearly a month before the first recorded coronavirus death in Wuhan, and about the same time the Wuhan pneumonia cluster became notable. This was also two months before the north Italian outbreak made it into the world’s front pages. In order to prevent the pandemic from going global, China would not have merely had to prevent the Wuhan outbreak, it would have had to do contact tracing in northern Italy, France, and New York throughout December and January, something the leadership of these areas would likely have not permitted it to do. It would also have had to destroy the Western anti-mask consensus on its own, and to convince the Western epidemiological community (a pack of rats with the intelligence of bricks if there ever was one) that the pandemic was certain to go global simply due to its form of spread.

Of course, the real China did far from everything right. It opposed travel restrictions on its own citizens, it always verbally supported the deeply flawed and Western-dominated World Health Organization, and, crucially, it delayed travel restrictions, public gathering bans, and attempting to rigorously contact trace and quarantine all those infected as soon as it was aware of the Wuhan pneumonia cluster in December. But that, if anything, reduced the worldwide death toll by making it easy for foresighted leaders like Khaltmaagiin Battulga, Prayut Chan-Ocha, and Luis Lacalle Pou to prevent the coronavirus from ravaging their own countries. Without the terrible Wuhan death toll of January and February, the leaderships of Tunisia, Jordan, Central Europe, and Burma would all surely been much more hesitant about their own countries imposing travel restrictions on Western Europe and America that delayed their own large outbreaks by many months.

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Remarks on coronavirus successes turned failures

There are a number of them, Tunisia and Burma being the most notable. Paraguay is another example, as well as Central Europe. Apparently, if a country is far enough apart from the normal airport routes and has no large-scale contact tracing regimen that it could possibly establish, keeping the virus out for many months with travel bans and remarkably strict quarantine rules is remarkably easy, but keeping it contained once community spread has appeared is next to impossible. They’re perhaps the most interesting -as well as the most tragic- countries to have experienced the pandemic to study.

Compatabilist free will: a defense

Yes, there is only one timeline, and yes, the laws of physics necessitate all our choices have all been made in advance. That does not render free will an unimportant aspect of human experience. Free will is action under conditions of uncertainty. Were man to have a book in which all his future actions are written, compatabilist free will would be impossible. Since no such book exists, it is necessary. Since many similar beasts (squirrels, for instance) are similarly unpredictable, it’s an open question to what organisms are able to act under uncertainty in the manner I have above described. Action at least requires a mental weighing of options (thus, uncertainty) before one makes a decision. Whether insects have this capability (they surely deal with uncertainty, but they may rely purely on instinct to respond to it), I know not.