Day 7

There’s a pandemic, but only old people die from the disease. To make it a bit more plausible, younger people also can get really ill, but that just rarely happens.

It sounds like a badly thought through dystopian story. A game-like setup, to divide the world’s population in two, based on visible properties. Already I see the common them versus us in various media. Old people complaining about young people partying and spreading the virus. Young people complaining about old people not taking it serious and meeting in groups, while they themselves are trying to make their 40 hour work week from home with their kids in the house. And finally children who, even if they understand the gravity of the situation, really aren’t scared, because it’s not them who’s going to get sick and die. Well except for the ones who’ve been locked inside; but you don’t get to see them anymore.

According to scientific models, it’s unlikely that this virus will be gone after a couple of weeks of self-imposed semi-quarantine. If things go according to the plans of most European countries, we close off old people from the rest of society, while younger people get infected at a rate slow enough for hospitals to take care of the illest ones. Something which can take years, until there’s a vaccine. They expect virus infections to go down in summer, but getting worse than now in fall again.

(sidenote: For better organized thoughts: Mass surveillance won’t stop corona. What can tech do though?. ) I’ve been eagerly accepting the restrictions from the German government, as I found them too late. But what if the restrictions become stricter and stricter? What if these restrictions are applied every other month? What if that’s the new normal? What if it becomes acceptable and even desirable by myself to enforce that, for instance through automated mass surveillance?

I’m more sympathetic to China and it’s ‘draconic’ measures than ever. Without their lockdown of Wuhan, experts say, the whole world would have been much worse off. They’re now sending aid to Italy and America, because they allegedly have the virus spread under control. And one of their crazy big corporations put 30 000 people to work to build up their own breathing mask production line. In one week time they developed a new type of machine and now they’re responsible for 25% of China’s breathing mask production already.

I got to go for a run now, because in one hour I have to watch the kids again and I need more exercise. Like never before I enjoy running. Every time I think of how it may be the last time that it’s still allowed.

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