A Bifurcation of Our Society

(posted 6/23/2020) - I don't know how history will record the US response to COVID-19; but it has appeared to me from the beginning of US infections that there are two typical responses to the disease by those who don't feel ill. The majority response (mostly urban / suburban areas) is to be wary; to distance, to wear a mask in closed spaces, to avoid unnecessary contact and to follow public-health protocols. The minority response (mostly rural and small towns) is to discount the infection as a low (or non-existent) risk factor and continue with pre-infection habits. These folks bemoan any external impacts on their lives as an over reaction by local, state, and federal agencies - rather than attempts to reduce infection rates.

It may have been true initially that low density populations were seeing virtually no infection clusters -- but those days ended in Mid-May of 2020. I frankly cannot understand the mindset that believes no attempts to control COVID-19 infections need to be made by city, county, state, and federal agencies. No public-health experts believe that we should not be making attempts to lower the reinfection rate at large.

I link to a brief commentary by Economist Paul Krugman in the NYT op-ed section today as a very good summary of the particular malaise into which we have fallen as a nation. We really seem to be two countries within one border at this point. It is sad.

Note - Here is a link to the op-ed as a PDF file in case you cannot access the original which is behind the NYT subscription paywall.