The Coronavirus Will Save America

The analysis of engineering or business problems often includes a list of positive and negative aspects of implementing changes.  So too should the analysis of the effects of the coronavirus.  What has been seen so far has been a panoply of negatives, many exaggerated for political fodder or as clickbait in the press's cry for attention.  A sober look at this, however, can lead to a different conclusion.  Will America be stronger, and will other nations take a cue from our success?  The answer is a surprising yes.

Imagine what the world will be like when 2022 arrives.  The coronavirus's effects will become so small that they will be lost in the noise of the day, but what will remain of its lessons?  First and foremost is that many lives will have been saved.

The hand-washing and sanitation precautions that will be permanently incorporated into American culture will diminish flu deaths in 2020, in 2021, in 2022, and perpetually.  Rather than 25,000–70,000 flu deaths annually, the numbers may drop by tens of thousands, even in 2020.  The spreading of America's sanitation obsession will impact not only its own population, but that of many nations, in a way that educators and health professional could never accomplish.

This saves lives — lots of lives.  Stubborn resistance to the onerous habits of sanitation will be broken down by this one virus's actions on the psyche of people.  These changes will pass to future generations, lasting not just a few years, but lifetimes and longer, and each year, more lives will be saved.

These benefits are undeniably going to happen.  But it is not just in the health arena that America will see long-term benefits.  It will be in the alteration of business practices, long accepted as they were invisibly implemented.  Who knew?  Ninety-five percent of antibiotics were manufactured in China, and no one discussed it.  Now the vulnerability of America is displayed in front of the people — not the little cliques of "health professionals" and CEOs who fostered it.  With the Chinese penchant for lying, adulteration, blackmail, and price-gouging, will such a situation exist in 2022?  No, because if it doesn't change rapidly, a lot of CEOs will find themselves unemployed.

Antibiotics are not the only pharmaceuticals or nutritional supplements coming from China, and soon the marketers of such products will face their turn in front of the bus.  Their executives see it coming.  Changes will be rapid and, again, invisible.  They do not want their products to be the ones cited in future news stories.  "Good riddance to China" will be the mantra of the entire industry, and America will be the huge beneficiary of increased domestic production, increased research on improved quality, and increased security — a trifecta that blunts the advantages China has sought to use against the U.S.

There is more, much more, that will be seen to improve America.  The coronavirus has been a wake-up call, and this time there is no snooze button.  If a supply chain is entangled with Chinese production due to technology, the business relying on sole sourcing is foolish beyond words.  If that still exists in 2022, the business is doomed.  CEOs, technology experts within large companies, and business analysts are going to be asking a lot of questions, and someone in the organization had better have answers.  The most obvious answer is to relocate advanced technology manufacturing to secure nations, including America.

China's stealth war against America has been exposed, inadvertently, but it is no longer flying below the radar.  The overt threat to cut off shipments of antibiotic medicine and medical supplies, and the delay in shipping that may actually be taking place, has brought the issue to the people of America.  To say there is anger over such threats and actions is to understate the consequences.  Here is China, willing to send America a virus and then debilitate its supply chains to exacerbate the effects.  No longer is this a stealth war.  The American people are on to them, and no rebuttal will return the status quo.

Other strangleholds that the Chinese have engineered will also fall.  For instance, rare earth minerals have been a strength in Chinese trade.  This is largely because the pollution from the by products is so severe that no other nation will ignore this defiling of the environment.  That will change when the price curve is no longer the sole consideration, and with this change, dependence on some of the electronic devices that require such metals will change as well.  When China can withhold supplies, or when it gouges prices, it is easier to go along to get along and simply have the component made in China.  The scarcity of the metals is not a resource issue; it is an engineering and mining issue, and soon the U.S. will address it.

 War?  The prospects of such an eventuality are certainly there.  China has been stealing our technology, as well as European and Russian technology, to position itself as a superpower.  Such ambitions are fraught with danger, because those who go to war are generally those who think they can win.  America must never let an adversary believe that.  Crackdowns on the theft of intellectual and military secrets have been initiated by Trump, and they will be ramped up.  The loss of free travel will restrict the movement of spies and ultimately hollow out the military ambitions of China.  This will lead to increased freedom in the Chinese sphere of influence.  Such freer people tend to align with America (à la Hong Kong), and as that happens, the prospects of an eventual war diminish.

Internally, the mindset of Americans is undergoing a dramatic change.  Not being considered are other long-lasting effects on the actions and attitudes of Americans.  Older American have seen privation, or been closely associated with a generation that really knew what it meant, and told them about it.  Younger Americans — not so much.  Today, that changed, and tomorrow, the lessons will endure.  A shortage of toilet paper is not much of a crisis, but seeing meat counters bare, cleaning products cleaned out, and all athletic contests canceled drives home a serious side to life that most Millennials have not incorporated into themselves.  Are they scared?  One would hope so.  It might mean that issues of free stuff seem a little frivolous.  Given a period of retrenchment, these youths will not be so gullible again.

This isn't exactly a baptism of fire for the under-40 crowd, but it does suddenly bring them into the culture of Americans who have lived a lot longer.  They may learn some valuable lessons and, by 2022, change the focus from attending a rave party or scoring a blunt to relying on family and working to gain a sense of security.  The stay-at-home isolation, with no athletics on TV, will also lead to a baby boom.  This will be a huge boon to America for many reasons.

In past pandemics, the Spanish Flu killed 50,000,000 people, the Asian Flu killed 1–2,000,000, and the Hong Kong Flu killed 1–4,000,000.  And what lessons were learned from them?  Health professionals learned many but never could communicate them effectively enough to change the culture.  Lacking a receptive audience, their efforts were in vain.  To say these were lost opportunities would be an understatement.  Oh, there was some change that the people accepted, but it was never across the full spectrum of the American society.

This time will be different.  A full alteration of cultural norms will ensue in the aftermath of the coronavirus.  It will be industrial, health, intelligence, educational, military, financial, strategic, and emotional.  The upside will never be entirely appreciated, but China's government and its plans will be a loser in all this, and the balance of the world will benefit immensely.  The regrettable loss of life, and a short-term financial cost, unfortunately cannot be avoided, but the benefits of the coronavirus will prevail and endure — more so if Americans take the initiative.

Gordon Wysong is an engineer and entrepreneur who has served as a county commissioner in Cobb County, Ga.

The analysis of engineering or business problems often includes a list of positive and negative aspects of implementing changes.  So too should the analysis of the effects of the coronavirus.  What has been seen so far has been a panoply of negatives, many exaggerated for political fodder or as clickbait in the press's cry for attention.  A sober look at this, however, can lead to a different conclusion.  Will America be stronger, and will other nations take a cue from our success?  The answer is a surprising yes.

Imagine what the world will be like when 2022 arrives.  The coronavirus's effects will become so small that they will be lost in the noise of the day, but what will remain of its lessons?  First and foremost is that many lives will have been saved.

The hand-washing and sanitation precautions that will be permanently incorporated into American culture will diminish flu deaths in 2020, in 2021, in 2022, and perpetually.  Rather than 25,000–70,000 flu deaths annually, the numbers may drop by tens of thousands, even in 2020.  The spreading of America's sanitation obsession will impact not only its own population, but that of many nations, in a way that educators and health professional could never accomplish.

This saves lives — lots of lives.  Stubborn resistance to the onerous habits of sanitation will be broken down by this one virus's actions on the psyche of people.  These changes will pass to future generations, lasting not just a few years, but lifetimes and longer, and each year, more lives will be saved.

These benefits are undeniably going to happen.  But it is not just in the health arena that America will see long-term benefits.  It will be in the alteration of business practices, long accepted as they were invisibly implemented.  Who knew?  Ninety-five percent of antibiotics were manufactured in China, and no one discussed it.  Now the vulnerability of America is displayed in front of the people — not the little cliques of "health professionals" and CEOs who fostered it.  With the Chinese penchant for lying, adulteration, blackmail, and price-gouging, will such a situation exist in 2022?  No, because if it doesn't change rapidly, a lot of CEOs will find themselves unemployed.

Antibiotics are not the only pharmaceuticals or nutritional supplements coming from China, and soon the marketers of such products will face their turn in front of the bus.  Their executives see it coming.  Changes will be rapid and, again, invisible.  They do not want their products to be the ones cited in future news stories.  "Good riddance to China" will be the mantra of the entire industry, and America will be the huge beneficiary of increased domestic production, increased research on improved quality, and increased security — a trifecta that blunts the advantages China has sought to use against the U.S.

There is more, much more, that will be seen to improve America.  The coronavirus has been a wake-up call, and this time there is no snooze button.  If a supply chain is entangled with Chinese production due to technology, the business relying on sole sourcing is foolish beyond words.  If that still exists in 2022, the business is doomed.  CEOs, technology experts within large companies, and business analysts are going to be asking a lot of questions, and someone in the organization had better have answers.  The most obvious answer is to relocate advanced technology manufacturing to secure nations, including America.

China's stealth war against America has been exposed, inadvertently, but it is no longer flying below the radar.  The overt threat to cut off shipments of antibiotic medicine and medical supplies, and the delay in shipping that may actually be taking place, has brought the issue to the people of America.  To say there is anger over such threats and actions is to understate the consequences.  Here is China, willing to send America a virus and then debilitate its supply chains to exacerbate the effects.  No longer is this a stealth war.  The American people are on to them, and no rebuttal will return the status quo.

Other strangleholds that the Chinese have engineered will also fall.  For instance, rare earth minerals have been a strength in Chinese trade.  This is largely because the pollution from the by products is so severe that no other nation will ignore this defiling of the environment.  That will change when the price curve is no longer the sole consideration, and with this change, dependence on some of the electronic devices that require such metals will change as well.  When China can withhold supplies, or when it gouges prices, it is easier to go along to get along and simply have the component made in China.  The scarcity of the metals is not a resource issue; it is an engineering and mining issue, and soon the U.S. will address it.

 War?  The prospects of such an eventuality are certainly there.  China has been stealing our technology, as well as European and Russian technology, to position itself as a superpower.  Such ambitions are fraught with danger, because those who go to war are generally those who think they can win.  America must never let an adversary believe that.  Crackdowns on the theft of intellectual and military secrets have been initiated by Trump, and they will be ramped up.  The loss of free travel will restrict the movement of spies and ultimately hollow out the military ambitions of China.  This will lead to increased freedom in the Chinese sphere of influence.  Such freer people tend to align with America (à la Hong Kong), and as that happens, the prospects of an eventual war diminish.

Internally, the mindset of Americans is undergoing a dramatic change.  Not being considered are other long-lasting effects on the actions and attitudes of Americans.  Older American have seen privation, or been closely associated with a generation that really knew what it meant, and told them about it.  Younger Americans — not so much.  Today, that changed, and tomorrow, the lessons will endure.  A shortage of toilet paper is not much of a crisis, but seeing meat counters bare, cleaning products cleaned out, and all athletic contests canceled drives home a serious side to life that most Millennials have not incorporated into themselves.  Are they scared?  One would hope so.  It might mean that issues of free stuff seem a little frivolous.  Given a period of retrenchment, these youths will not be so gullible again.

This isn't exactly a baptism of fire for the under-40 crowd, but it does suddenly bring them into the culture of Americans who have lived a lot longer.  They may learn some valuable lessons and, by 2022, change the focus from attending a rave party or scoring a blunt to relying on family and working to gain a sense of security.  The stay-at-home isolation, with no athletics on TV, will also lead to a baby boom.  This will be a huge boon to America for many reasons.

In past pandemics, the Spanish Flu killed 50,000,000 people, the Asian Flu killed 1–2,000,000, and the Hong Kong Flu killed 1–4,000,000.  And what lessons were learned from them?  Health professionals learned many but never could communicate them effectively enough to change the culture.  Lacking a receptive audience, their efforts were in vain.  To say these were lost opportunities would be an understatement.  Oh, there was some change that the people accepted, but it was never across the full spectrum of the American society.

This time will be different.  A full alteration of cultural norms will ensue in the aftermath of the coronavirus.  It will be industrial, health, intelligence, educational, military, financial, strategic, and emotional.  The upside will never be entirely appreciated, but China's government and its plans will be a loser in all this, and the balance of the world will benefit immensely.  The regrettable loss of life, and a short-term financial cost, unfortunately cannot be avoided, but the benefits of the coronavirus will prevail and endure — more so if Americans take the initiative.

Gordon Wysong is an engineer and entrepreneur who has served as a county commissioner in Cobb County, Ga.