As perennial nincompoop and walking case study for the Dunning- Kruger Effect Donald Trump is just now discovering — that ‘rona is nothing to fuck with.
As of this writing, the global case count (that we even know about) is just north of 304,000, with 14,573 deaths. The absolute ineptitude of the Trump administration to deploy any sort of comprehensive testing probably means at least the first number is significantly, if not exponentially higher.
As the life on earth comes to a screeching halt in response to this global pandemic — a whole host of unintended positive consequences has arisen as well. Call it the Thanos Effect, after the brutalist environmentalism of the Marvel comics supervillain of the same name. Ironically enough — this deadly disease has presented jarring solutions to some of society’s most irretractable problems.
For starters — the mitigation on air pollution is literally visible from space. Satellite photos over the hardest hit areas of China and Italy have shown that nitrogen dioxide emissions have been cut nearly IN HALF over a mere 4 months as a result of the shuttering of factories and sudden absence of cars on the road. The waters in the Venice canals have run clear for the first time in 60 years and marine life is returning to places it hasn’t been seen in years. In the major American cities in lock down, pollution is also plummeting.
The impact of this disease has been felt by both the rich and poor. Turns out germs don’t give a fuck about your money, and as a result, the rich are learning some hard lessons. As the stock market burns off nearly a third of its value and business come to a grinding halt — The great vacuuming of the wealth of the poor to the rich has almost stopped cold. In an economy almost exclusively driven by small bore consumer spending and the leveraging of debt — shutting everyone in at home is bringing big business to its knees. The effects of this have been no more pronounced than watching the modern Republican party do 180 degree turns on the rugged individualist bootstraps orthodoxy that has been the religion of supply siders since 1980. Turns out that shrinking the federal government down to something you could drown in a bath tub leaves it ill equipped to solve a problem of…