Finally, the president inflicted serious damage to the World Trade Organization — the great arbitrator of all international trade disputes — on the specious claim that the organization wasn’t sufficiently deferential to the United States. Here’s how [Scott] Lincicome sums it up: The administration chose “to shut down the organization’s appellate body (basically the supreme court of trade dispute settlement) instead of negotiating new and necessary reforms in good faith (e.g., by teaming up with like?minded countries while offering actual concessions on longtime irritants like U.S. agricultural subsidies and ‘trade remedy’ rules).”
Jenin Younes rightly decries the dysfunctional mindset of pursuing one goal – in this case, virus avoidance – over others. (2020 has been the year of the anti-marginalist counterrevolution – and the counterrevolutionaries, sadly, have so far been victorious.) A slice:
This is a dogma that should be resoundingly rejected. As I (and many others) have written before, there is no reason to assign SARS-CoV-2 a special status as a killer virus, or to view it as significantly worse than many other of the world’s problems that typically go largely unnoticed by educated professionals in the developed world. Over the past year, around 1.5 million deaths worldwide have been attributed to SARS-Cov-2. On average, 1.35 million people die in traffic accidents, 1.7 million people die of AIDS, and 1.4 million of tuberculosis, each year (We know that the counter to this — that if we did not take extreme mitigation measures, the virus would spiral out of control and bodies would be falling in the streets — is not borne out by the reality).
It’s hard because people need people. We are made to be in relationships with each other. Our brains, hearts, souls, spirits—whatever you want to call that core of our being—that thing need parties. It needs human contact. It needs community. It needs beers on the couch. It needs board games late into the night. It needs play dates. It needs not to die alone. It needs not to give birth alone. It needs love. And the internet, blessed and cursed as it is, can transmit love only so well.