Remember Y2K?

The corona virus debates reminds us of Y2K

The Corona virus debates are like the arguments over Y2K. Remember Y2K? Alleged software bugs that would cause the world to end at the end of 1999. But it did not. So was it exaggerated or did we dodge a bullet because our prevention worked ? “The corona virus is not unlike the Y2K bug—a real but invisible risk. When a hurricane or an earthquake hits, the danger is evident, the risk self-explanatory, and the aftermath visible. It is obvious when to take shelter, and when it’s safe to come out. But viruses lie below the threshold of the senses. Neither peril nor safety is clear. But you cannot read about the losses that never occurred, because they were averted. Prevention may be better than cure, but it is also less visceral.” (Ed Yong) So the many “couch experts” pointing to the difference between the original estimate of 2.2 million dead in America and new estimates of 90 k miss the point of preventative actions taken. The original number was either prevented or deferred. Depending on how the lifting of lockdown goes. Prevention may be better than cure but it’s also less urgent.

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