A couple of thoughts on comparisons between the US and elsewhere.
Back in the mists of time in the previous thread I think I linked to studies that were done on air crashes and how they link with differing models of Crew Resource Management. They were looking at CRM as varying on two axes. One was an 'individualist vs collectivist' axis the other was a 'power relations' axis.
I think you can draw a parallel between those ideas and more general observations of socio-political behaviour. I don't think that it would be a massive stretch to suggest that the US (and to a certain extent also the UK) is a society that is highly individualist one one axis and is very suspicious of any 'top-down' state interference on the other axis. In itself I don't attach any value judgement to that - I don't think that any position on that 2 way spectrum is the 'best way'. However I do think that in terms of the CV-19 pandemic it does seem that countries that are more collectivist (in terms of 'horizontal' social relations) and where people are more deferential to state involvement in their lives have done much better.
But the problem then comes that even if that is the case you can't suddenly 're-wire' the US (or the UK) and say that we need to be like the Germans or the Swedes or the South Koreans or the Japanese. For better or worse we are what we are. In the context of the current situation it seems apparent that that is very much for the worse. In totality I'm sure that there are many in the US and UK who feel that the overall benefits of those socio-political attitudes outweigh the specific negatives in the context of a health crisis like we are experiencing.
My fundamental point would be that you can't change those fundamental socio-cultural patterns overnight. Beating ourselves (ourselves being the UK and the US) up over that won't do any good. For me we have to identify the 'easy wins' that will bring significant benefit without contradicting those individualist impulses. Masks is a massive one - people in the US and UK have to grow up and acknowledge that wearing a face mask in shared public spaces is a nil cost/high benefit behaviour. Whatever your views on the place of individualism a rational viewpoint is that a nil cost/high benefit issue doesn't come under that. If you disagree then you are seeing society and politics not as a realm of rationalism but one of faith. That is where we start to have really big problems.
I think it's about how you present the information and the logic. For America, we have a sharply divided political message with the Republican leaders giving one message and the Democrat leaders another. I believe that if the White House, on Day one, would have maintained a nation-wide message similar to what most of Europe, S. Korea, and Canada did, our infectious numbers would be lower right now.
I'm in California and most people, regardless of politics, are wearing masks. And for those people that walk around in the stores without a mask, they are mostly of the opinion that it's their "right" not to wear a mask. For those people that are wearing masks, the average opinion is that if we all wear masks we are protecting each other as well as ourselves since we *know* that any of us could have and be a super-spreader for a good week or so before feeling/showing any symptoms.
I believe that if we'd started the whole pandemic shelter-in-place and wear-a-mask message from a national we-are-all-in-this-together point of view we'd be good right now. Instead, with some counties following direction from our governor and other counties fighting the state directives, all we are doing is playing a shell game and trying to figure out which cup has the ball in it. And that's the same on a larger scale with some states trying to open slowly and other states being much less restrictive. Here in America, we are a divided house.
I'd say our local media is also not helping matters much as they flit like butterflies from one juicy story to the next while pandering to the drama and gossip by stoking comments from our different governors, Faucci, and Trump.
At this stage here in America, I'm not sure we can put the cat back into the bag.
I seldom wear a mask. My eyeglasses fog up and I can't see. I see a lot of the people with masks but their nose is not covered. How good is that?
That said, there are no Covid-19 cases in my immediate area, the closest reported was over 30 kilometers away. I don't think that the virus will travel that far in large enough quantities to infect anybody. Also, those cloth as well as the paper masks really don't stop the virus.
At the risk of getting farther into the political that some are venturing into, Public Health in the US is a State and local responsibility. The Federal government can and has issued guidelines but it is not the Federal responsibility for Public Health. Go take US Civics classes if you need to understand this.
edit: Both my kitties like to go into bags on their own. One of them even like the ride when I swing it back and forth. But don't buy a pig in a poke or you will let the cat out of the bag.
Please don't take this as a slap or insult but I think you've made my point... <wry grin>
We all have different opinions and thoughts on the COVID. I work hard to keep that 6+ feet of separation. I carry a mask and when I'm in stores and such, I put the mask on. If someone chooses to not wear a mask correctly over their nose then there's not much I can do. The police, in my town, have publicly stated that they will not be arresting or issuing tickets to people if they are not wearing a mask. Stores and such can demand and post "face mask" requirements and as long as the information is posted, people can be arrested for trespassing if they refuse to leave when confronted by a peace officer.
But if specific COVID-19 prevention program was a nation-wide mandate, I believe that few people would buck the mandate if there was clear-cut evidence and the white house, congress, and state leadership were all in support of the directive.
So strongly do I feel about everyone wearing a mask and, when possible, practicing safe distancing, that for me when I see someone wandering around in a grocery store without a mask, I'd like to see them slapped with intent to threaten others with a bio-hazard.
Like I note above, I think America is a divided house in terms of COVID-19, and I believe that here in the states we will suffer due to the mixed message and lack of direction from our leaders.
< Message edited by durnedwolf -- 7/9/2020 6:08:18 PM >
I try to live by two words - tenacity and gratitude. Tenacity gets me where I want to go and gratitude ensures I'm not angry along the way. - Henry Winkler.
The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. - Herbert Spencer