‘Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind

I think it’s fair to say that no government has yet found the ideal response to the ever-changing crisis situation. How could they, anyway? The goalposts are shifting as the rules of the game keep moving. And they are moving far too quickly for anyone to start playing.

We’re resorting to old antidotes in response to new poisons: self-isolation and lockdown, in other words, quarantines and curfews. These are old tricks which our societies have experimented with time and time again in the past. We’re trying them again.

The measures our leaders are taking have consequences far larger and wider than we can imagine. But before we commend or denounce a leader or a government on the mad or blind decisions they’ve made, let us remember that we are all mad and blind to some extent: mad to have built a world on such flimsy foundations, and blind to see how easily it may crumble. And, as one internet meme has it, let us remember that we have already started fighting over toilet paper.

We should worry equally about our moral immune system. No quarantine or curfew is necessary to shelter it, quite the contrary.

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