by Daniel A. Kaufman
 Using online communications platforms as a replacement for in-person, physical socializing had already done enormous damage to human relationships – and especially those of young people – well before the social distancing mandates required to combat the novel coronavirus were imposed. I am worried that this collective social ineptitude will metastasize in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
 A constant drumbeat of fear and concern for “safety” has already rendered much of the Millennial and Gen-Z populations fragile, anxious and essentially unsuited for adult life. This only will be worsened by the fears raised by this pandemic.
 Taken together, 1. & 2. make me fear that unless these social and psychological developments are addressed and reversed, the country will suffer a serious decline, with regard to virtually every social, economic, and political indicator, once Generation X passes from the scene, and the country and its public and private institutions are being run by Millennials and Gen Z.
 Imagine another really bad flu season, like 2017-18, when over 60,000 people died in the US from influenza. Imagine further that the year’s vaccine is for the wrong strain and thus, ineffective. If media provides daily coverage of rising infection and mortality numbers, as well as a national map in which these daily increases are visually represented with growing and overlapping red circles, and 24/7 reporting on every overwhelmed hospital, do you think the country could be convinced to lock down in the manner we have with the novel coronavirus? [Just to be clear, I am in favor of our current policy. What I am wondering about is the extent to which similar media coverage could persuade people to react this way on other occasions.]
 In confronting the novel coronavirus, I don’t understand why it is a better strategy to do a universal lockdown than to quarantine those in the most vulnerable populations. It seems to me that if one did the latter, the rest would develop immunity, the antibody-rich blood from which therapies might be developed. Given that universal lockdown is widely recommended among infectious disease experts, I assume that I am missing something. What is it?
 In the public conversation surrounding federal relief aimed at helping individuals get through an extended period of closed workplaces and layoffs, I’ve seen many progressives rail against also providing such relief for companies and other businesses. What jobs do progressives expect people to return to, if their employers have gone out of business?
 It did not take long for the loonier fringes of social justice to begin reading the novel coronavirus through the lens of identity politics: from bemoaning the fact that “gender affirming” surgeries have been put on hold, in light of overwhelmed hospitals, to the “racism” of Covid-19, to claiming that the virus is a “women’s issue,” despite the fact that men suffer from it at significantly higher rates, it’s the standard sort of fare we’ve all come to expect from the pathologically woke. I am seeing very little patience for it, however, even among those for whom this sort of thing ordinarily tends to be appealing, and I wonder whether perhaps one good outcome of this disaster will be to considerably reduce the amount of identity politics we will have to endure in the future.
 Relatedly, I wonder whether social justice types’ favorite strategy of abusing the harm principle – i.e. labeling everything they dislike as “harm” so as to be justified in curtailing others’ liberties – will be much less effective, now that everyone has had a strong taste of what real harm looks like.
 My daughter is graduating high school this Spring, as well as turning eighteen. She will have no graduation. No prom. No senior party. No eighteenth birthday party. She is handling it like a champ, but I am heartbroken for her and for all of the other graduating seniors who will have this once-in-a-lifetime experience snatched from them by this wretched virus. At least she and her cohort will be able to help insure that our stupid and degenerate President will be a one-termer.
 I am inclined to think that in the aftermath of this pandemic, the rush to globalize more and more of nations’ economies will be halted. Globalization enthusiasts in the developed world have always tried to convince us that de-industrialization and outsourcing are inevitable, but in truth, they are a matter of the political will of nations. One thing the current pandemic has made clear is just how dangerous it is to depend on other countries to manufacture all of our x’s, y’s, and z’s. Another is how quickly pathogens can move from one country to the next, given essentially global mass transit and effectively open borders. It is hard to see the current pandemic failing to have a substantial impact on industrial, travel, and immigration policy in the future.
 While I am not really expecting it, I would hope that an emergency like this would impress upon people the importance of competent, sound political leadership and consequently, would have significant effects with regard to our voting inclinations and habits, including, importantly:
(a) Never engaging in “fuck you” voting again. Donald Trump’s presidency is the result of such a vote, and while I am sympathetic with many of the reasons why certain parts of the country wanted to deliver such a message, there simply is too much at stake in elections to employ them as a form of messaging (as Trump’s calamitous handling of the pandemic indicates).
(b) Abandoning any and all forms of political purity. Purity politics leads to third-party voting in presidential elections, and in the US that effectively means voting for one’s opponent. When the opponent is Donald Trump – or any other catastrophically unsuitable person – this is disastrous. (I might not be saying this were it not for the fact that so many in the Bernie Brigade are loudly announcing that they would just as soon have Trump be elected than sully their virtue by voting for Biden.)
 Previously, I’ve written about how strange – and distasteful – I find the constant smarmy and ingratiating public calls to “thank our active duty and retired military for their service.” As the current pandemic runs its course, I am struck by the enormous risk that the most ordinary people working the most common jobs are taking, whether supermarket stock clerks and cashiers, home delivery personnel, mailmen and women, and of course doctors and nurses, all in an effort to keep society afloat. I wonder whether in the future we will be hearing public calls to thank delivery boys and cashiers for their service or whether we will continue only to extend that courtesy to those whose service involves the application of violence abroad.