COVID-19, or how I was supposed to be on a plane to Paris right now, but instead find myself rehashing the importance of quarantines… and hand washing…

Part business trip, part pleasure trip,i I was set to board an Air Canada flight bound for Paris today. Instead, I’m parked in front of my Eizo monitors, as usual, re-reading old Contravex articles, as you do, and dusting off my trusty ol’ non-linear extrapolator as I try to make sense of the trip-cancelling COVID-19 aka “coronavirus” that’s currently sweeping the globe.

Back in 2014 when the world was similarly anxious about the spread of Ebola in Africa, I humbly suggested quarantining that poor continent. In 2020, with the cat pretty clearly out of the bag on the global pandemic that is coronavirus, I’m going a step further and suggest a worldwide moratorium on travel, effective immediately.ii If you don’t have to go to an airport, or even a bus terminal, in the coming weeks and months, perhaps even the rest of the year, don’t risk it. For the sake of your own personal health, that of your family, and local community, just wait it out. It’s inconvenient, yes, but the alternative is disaster.iii

China’s dramatic and “draconian” efforts to flatten the reproductive curve of the virus appear to be working, at least initially, even if their reported infection/death rates are taken with many grains of salt and should conservatively have zeroes added to the end of them.iv It’s unlikely that many other countries have the centralised power, technological capability, and top-down social license to be as effective. Iran certainly doesn’t. Your country may not either. So plan for a rough few months.v

At the very least, now’s a good time to practice your hand-washing technique,vi fistbumps/namastes, and to make your way to Costco for a month’s supply of food and household items.vii

You can follow sensationalism-free “official” “stats” of the pandemic on Feel feel to leave other useful links in the comments below.

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  1. I was looking forward to catching the tail end of Paris Fashion Week! While I hadn’t yet purchased tickets for any runway shows, mostly because I didn’t quite see the value in spending 4`000 Euros to see Demna‘s latest womenswear collection when I can watch it on YouTube and get more than half the experience for free, I was still looking forward to taking in the sights and sounds of the scene. Ah well, it was going to be grey and drizzly anyways. There’s always 2021!
  2. If your local government is too chicken shit, or too “rational” to take such a strong precautionary move, self-impose the travel moratorium! You don’t need the johnny-come-lately bureaucratic state apparatus to tell you that your shoelaces are untied, do you ?
  3. Take your personal car, if you must, but take a break from mobile cesspools aka “GermTubes” aka “Public Transit.”
  4. “Official Reports” are the lower bound, not mean estimates. And the media’s incessant focus on Ro ignores the impact of superspreaders.
  5. And if your “paranoia” proves “unnecessary,” what did it really cost you ? Plan for the worst and hope for the best!
  6. how_to_handwash

  7. Friends who were in Singapore 2-3 weeks ago reported that the lockdowns there have resulted in decimated supplies of masks, hand sanitizer, alcohol, and condoms on store shelves. Makes sense!

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