[W]hat if this apparatus were revealed to be not very serious about safety, the very ideal that underwrites its authority? What then?
What if, say, the leadership of WHO and of the public health bodies of the EU were determined to manage Covid in the crucial, early stages of the pandemic in a way that is compatible with liberal internationalism (hence no travel restrictions), doesn’t offend China (hence no travel restrictions) and affirms our own anti-racism (hence no travel restrictions), even at the expense of arresting the spread of the virus?
What if, in the crucial early stages of the emergency, county health authorities in California, as well as the state’s Department of Education, indeed the whole institutional chorus, were more concerned with preventing “stigma” than with preventing, you know, mass death by asphyxiation?
What if the governor of California were to hold a press conference at the end of April to chastise people going to the beach in Orange County (a Republican hold-out in what is otherwise nearly a one-party state), days after we learned that sunshine kills the virus? What if police are so enterprising as to come out onto the water to arrest solo paddle boarders, but the confined spaces of libraries are re-opened?
We can’t help noticing that libraries are one of those public facilities favoured by… well, by the same people who find hiking virtuous and mountain biking reckless and egotistical.
I would add oddities like the dogma that masks protect others from you a lot while protecting you from others just a little, or that the plexiglass shields work in opposite fashion. Neither of those makes sense to me.
Add the sudden reversal where racial injustice is declared by doctors to outweigh risk of Covid-19. Ipse dixit nonsense generates broader suspicion.