A compilation from readers of CityLab.
Nairobi, Kenya’s capital
“Nairobi Governor Includes Hennessy In Coronavirus Care Packages, Claims it’s ‘Throat Sanitizer'”
The governor of Nairobi’s curious cocktail care packages.
“A requirement forcing all air passengers arriving at Hong Kong to be tested for the coronavirus will remain in place going forward, a leading city health official said, with experts predicting the practice will become standard at airports around the world as the aviation industry adapts to a new normal once the pandemic recedes.”
From the South China Morning Post. Read the rest here.
As long as we’re shut in with time on our hands, here is another installment of a sort of rolling diary to consider consequences of the virus. It’s true that with a virus that spreads exponentially, each day’s events seem like a week’s worth. In the knowledge that all this may be overtaken by events next week, here are some observations today. Please add your thoughts.
Today is 7 April, 2020:
• It is remarkable how self-evident it is that the entire intellectual framework that ran our economic world until last month was wrong.
• We’ve all seen the photos, clear waters instead of used condoms in Venetian canals and so on. The virus shakes politicians by the shoulders considerably more starkly than the scolding teenaged Swede (bless her just the same). Perhaps the virus can help the planet self-correct, if just a bit. Or at least incrementally slow its death march.
• German experts contemplate April under the coronavirus. The view from Germany.
• Let old and sick people out of prison if they’re not under the death penalty. For if we don’t, perhaps by our lack of action, we are imposing that penalty.
• Branko Milanovik is surely right about this, in Foreign Affairs:
“The longer the crisis lasts, and the longer obstacles to the free flow of people, goods, and capital are in place, the more that state of affairs will come to seem normal. Special interests will form to sustain it, and the continuing fear of another epidemic may motivate calls for national self-sufficiency.”
• Tomas Sedlacek says we might as well try to take advantage of a situation we can’t do much about anyway. There are advantages to disadvantages. Like, in his case, Prague without the tourists.
• Winners: hands, and dogs. Neither has ever had as much attention.
What do you think?
Take care and wash your hands.
Hungary’s legislature has approved measures granting Prime Minister Viktor Orban power to bypass parliament, put people in jail for “spreading false information” about the coronavirus – and cancel elections.
My monthly On the Road column at 3 Quarks Daily is live this morning. This month I’ve taken a look at fallout (forgive me) from the official reaction to the Chernobyl disaster.
Read it here at 3QD right now, and I’ll post it to CS&W later this week.
See more photos from Chernobyl in the Ukraine Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.
As long as we’re shut in with time on our hands, here is another installment of a sort of rolling diary to consider consequences of the virus. It’s true that with a virus that spreads exponentially, each day’s events seem like a week’s worth. Here are some observations. Please add your thoughts.
Today is Sunday, 29 March, 2020:
• Feudalism redux. Literally: Carnegie Moscow Center reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has
“tasked each of the oligarchs with overseeing a specific region where they have assets: Rinat Akhmetov will be responsible for the Donbas and western Ukraine, Kolomoisky for Zaporizhia, Victor Pinchuk for Dnipropetrovsk, and so on.”
Joel Kotkin weighs the prospects of neo-feudalism in The Coming Age of Dispersion at Quilette.
• Digital Congress. Not a prediction, just part of a lengthening wish list. As Ethan Zuckerman writes,
“this is a great time for congresspeople to return to their districts and start the process of virtual legislating—permanently. Not only is this move medically necessary at the moment, but it has ancillary benefits. Lawmakers will be closer to the voters they represent and more likely to be sensitive to local perspectives and issues. A virtual Congress is harder to lobby, as the endless parties and receptions that lobbyists throw in Washington will be harder to replicate across the whole nation. Party conformity also might loosen with representatives remembering local loyalties over party ties.”
• In Virus Diary II I suggested
“Shorter, stronger supply chains on the other side of this? This looks like a safe bet.”
To expand a bit, the idea I was after was redundancy. We don’t need tariffs and trade barriers for spiteful reasons of base nationalism, but in case other countries place restrictions on supply chains, restrict exports, shut down ports and such, as we are seeing today.
And a local note:
Fannin County, Georgia is around 100 miles north of Atlanta in the southern Appalachian mountains. My wife and I own property in adjoining Union County. Indeed, our last redoubt would be a cabin there, and to reach it we’d want (but not have) to drive through Fannin County.
Whether or not officials in Fannin County can prohibit people from using their own properties, it looks like they’re game to try. It’s medieval, pulling up the drawbridge, the stuff of a dozen apocalypse tales. And not surprising.
Seems to me it represents a fundamental fracture in the US’s secular worship of property and wealth. Attempting to deny the right to use someone’s property is kind of shocking in a US context, possibly appropriate, but as I say, not surprising. What is surprising is how quickly the thin veneer of civilization begins to come off.
What do you think?
Take care and wash your hands.