Mathematics is concerned most often with certainties. If x plus y equals z, then 2x plus y equals zx. That sort of thinking is not arrogant, it is simply one way or the other.
Magical thinking believes that given a few little tweeks you can make 2+2 equal what the hell you want it to be, and for Americans, at this critical juncture in history, over half want it to mean an end to the president’s continuous distortions of the truth to benefit himself, and a return to more honest leadership in their interests.
But thinking that more of the same is somehow going to change the future because bad luck can not rule forever is simply fanciful. The facts are stark, Trump has led America into the death of a very significant number of people, and the injury to the lives of possibly more by being too optimistic about a virus as though he could somehow negotiate with inevitability and look good because he predicted it would magically go away. Unfortunately his misdirection backfired and the killed 132,000 Americans. That number is not going to magically reduce, it will inexorably increase. And he is proud of his record! Look how great he is! It is painfully obvious he is damaging the USA more seriously than any person in the last two hundred years. And yet, 30% or so will still vote for him, even as their family members die because they attended a Maga rally.
Magical thinking also infects the Government of the UK. Believing that this crisis is over when there are still 500 new infections in a day, because it is not at the level it was, is a failure to understand the mathematics of viral spread. 500 new infections means that there are well over 100 hotspots where he virus is not contained. 500 can be doubled to a nice round 1000, and then if the R rate jumps to 2, the number of infections returns to 8,000 in a couple of weeks. Rationality is to get the infection rate down below 10, then you have more time to control any pockets of infection.
The virus has mutated, mainly due to the unrestrained infection rate. Every person infected adds genetic information to the virus, and increases its chances of survival in our bodies. The mutation makes the virus more contagious. The only way we can control it is to reduce the pool of bodies it currently infects to those in hospital, and no others.
The other terribly difficult issue is if the progress of the virus is not defeated and the UK crashes out of the EU without a trade deal at the end of the year, poverty will become more widespread. Poverty is the best friend of the virus – desperate people still need food, but can not isolate so easily.
So the luxury of being able to open up early is magical thinking and it will prolong the economic damage into next year when the threat of more expensive food imports will destroy the lives of a larger percentage of people who simply have debts: student loans, mortgages, vehicle loans, and most significantly, credit cards, leveraging their ability to pay and support themselves in the face of extended lockdowns and economic false starts.
No, Mr Johnson, and Mr Cummings. Your machinations are like Mr Trump’s. Magical thinking. And it will be the ruin of many average people.
Tory backbenchers who support Johnson’s insane government, beware. Your constituents will become increasingly aware you did nothing to prevent the most destructive Government in the UK’s history from destroying their lives.
Also read …
The Guardian on Brexit in the Covid-19 era