** 25-Mar-2020 World View: Optimism
Here's an e-mail message from a reader:
> "I've been reading you daily for about a decade, and
> while I respect your opinions and predictions greatly, I usually
> place them at the "most pessimistic" end of the scale.
> After reading today's weblog post I almost did a double-take
> because it seems uncharacteristically optimistic, i.e., we might
> eventually get out of this mess while having avoided millions of
> deaths. Did I read you wrongly?"
Optimism ... pessimism ... it's all a mirage. We're all trapped in a
movie theatre watching a horror movie, and they've locked the doors so
we can't escape. The movie isn't optimistic. The movie isn't
pessimistic. The movie just IS. The movie is life.
Anyway, I didn't exactly say what you say I said. We're firmly on
the path of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. So there are still going
to be millions of deaths.
But what I wrote about is how the country's economy can continue as
the pandemic goes and flows, and people continue to die, even though
people are avoiding "gatherings," and are keeping a "social distance."
That's exactly the same problem that the people had in 1918 and 1919.
So that's both bad news and good news. The good news is that people
won't die of starvation. The bad news is that people will die of
coronavirus. The news is neither pessimistic nor optimistic. This
time it's not different. What's old is new again. There's nothing
new under the sun.