From cleaner air to reduced crime (except maybe domestic violence) — from elimination of school shootings to cessation of Mexican border crisis — from end of opioid epidemic to disappearance of MAGA rallies — coronavirus has produced unexpected and sometimes not unwelcome outcomes. Not all retailers, for example, are taking it in shorts: purveyors of sex toys are having a moment although brothels are finding social distancing a buzz-kill. And, of course, drive-thrus are a bigger hassle than ever. Here’s a look at ups and downs of pandemic from around USA and world.
April 8, 2020
By Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker, Asked What Their Country Can Do For Them
“Democracy Dies in Darkness…November Can’t Come Soon Enough”
WASHINGTON (Rueters) — It may very well turn out that 2020 will be the year time forgot.
The coronavirus, it seems, has upended everything: Sports across the planet are either played to empty stands, or not at all. Concerts and music festivals have been silenced now and for months to come. Schools are shuttered for another four or five months, at least, in most cases. College seniors have been shoved out the door without the worry of final exams or the pride of graduation.
But there is a flip side to this pandemic — things you wouldn’t think about normally because you wouldn’t want to contemplate what would have to occur in the first place to make them happen.
For example, in New York City, the epicenter (for now) of the US outbreak of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, crime has plummeted, statistics show. More cops than normal are ill and off the job because of the virus, but their brothers and sisters are patrolling largely empty streets.
Domestic violence calls — attributable to days and weeks of official government lockdowns — are on the rise. Sort of puts paid to the old saying: “Can’t live with ’em; can’t kill ’em.” Apparently in the age of coronavirus, that’s changed.
The coronavirus has recast New York City’s crime statistics. “The bad guys don’t want to die from robbing or assaulting people with the virus,” said one deputy police commissioner. “And with everyone staying home, there are virtually no burglaries, either.”
Of course, the story of crime in the Big Apple is not all sunshine. “With everyone wearing protective face masks, mostly homemade,” a senior NYC PD detective told Rueters, “we’re finding police lineups are not nearly as effective at this time.”
For Americans and others who enjoy breathing, the global economy’s screeching stop equates to more — much more — clean air from lack of carbon emissions, be they from cars and trucks, airplanes, or factories and utility plants.
CAN CORONAVIRUS REALLY CURE OUR SOCIAL ILLS?
Once coronavirus is defeated — or at least declawed — by vaccine, perhaps we can expect a worldwide return to some bad human habits. But maybe it isn’t inevitable.
Normal human activities — good and bad — are grinding to a halt, drug addiction among them, or so it seems to anyone following the news. For example, it looks like the opioid epidemic is over. Nowhere to be seen or mentioned on network or cable news, newspapers or magazines, or even online since earlier this year, the singular US epidemic of abuse of pain killers appears to have been eliminated by its big brother, a genuine worldwide pandemic that can kill anyone, anywhere.
Border crisis? What border crisis? We don’t need no stinkin’ border crisis!
Remember the crisis at the southern border? “Build the Wall”? The “invasion” of a Central American “army” of the poor and destitute? Evil Mexican leadership sending the US their gangs, murderers and rapists? That appears to be over and done with.
Isn’t there an election this year?
Did someone say presidential nominating process? Democratic candidates have taken to sheltering in place, the former vice president in his Delaware basement and the leader of the “Berniecrats” reportedly has bought the farm in Vermont.
But is it worth the hassle?