Saturday, 12 September 2020

doom loops

Via Cory Doctrow’s Pluralistic blog, we are directed towards an excellent, circumspect column from Ed Yong outlining nine reflective and recognisable factors driving the pandemic spiralling spread in the United States—as that country’s death toll surpasses two-hundred-thousand with no signs of improvement or organised mitigation measures on the horizon.
How many of these factors resound for you—not just as a criticism of others but a trap, a fallacy that you’ve fallen for yourself to a degree? We especially appreciated mulling over what Yong frames as the “serial monogamy of solutions”: only paying attention to one intervention at a time and rejecting it for its perceived short-comings when a success, prevention takes a multi-pronged approach. We can also relate to the regression to personal blame—beggaring one’s neighbour for not taking the situation and rituals as seriously as you have decided it is within the Overton window (which is also a heuristic for examining creeping normalcy and regression to the mean) of margins of behaviour—not flagrant violations thereof—that have been put out (or not) by authorities. One not only needs a coherent, universal policy informed by science to strengthen individual convictions (no matter how faithfully I wear a mask and avoid crowds, I can’t do that for others) one also needs to redress systemic problems that are obstacles to recovery, like social programmes and access to health care.