Will the US face reality or plunge into escapism? Here are the scenarios
America could see an explosion of technological innovation to minimise the effects of Covid-19
Escapism was how America responded to the virus. For the best part of two months, as the epidemic raged in China and then Italy, President Donald Trump kept insisting that the disease was no worse than the seasonal flu. Like Napoleon and the yellow fever outbreak in Haiti, he seems to have taken the virus as a personal insult. If only he could wish it away, reelection would be assured.
But Trump was far from alone. Progressive outlets such as The New York Times and Vox went out of their way to mock those concerned with the looming threat. As late as Friday, The Wall Street Journal was still pleading in an editorial that the best strategy was to continue more or less as before, to avoid economic collapse.
The country looks unprepared. Testing is still not readily available and medical supplies are scarce. Recent reports found hospitals setting up sewing stations to make masks and gowns out of sterile wrap. Public authorities seem incapable of performing the basic functions of government. A society accustomed to thinking itself the most technologically advanced in the world has been overcome by natural forces...