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Corona Journal #1: Herd-immunity

Published on 16th March 2020

WARNING: The following is not a piece of fact-based journalism, but a real-time dystopic documentation inspired by the surreality we live in. Reader discretion is advised. 

Confirmed cases: 1413 (+278)

Deaths: 24 (+4)

Days in self isolation: 4 

Symptoms: periodic shortness of breath (could be anxiety-induced)

Body temperature: 37.1C

I turn off the livestream of the Prime Minister's speech on my smartphone. Yes, I watched this historic moment on a 5,6 inch screen, because the news website on my laptop crashed after the whole country flocked online to watch the leader of The Netherlands give an 'Address to the Nation' about the raging coronavirus pandemic. 

His message: The virus is coming for us. Many, if not most of us. And he's going to let it.

The past 10 weeks the world has been in the grips of a pandemic not seen since the Spanish flu in 1918. In a mere 10 weeks the virus has spread to 155 countries, infecting 180,000 and killing more than 6,000 people. 

SARS, the last worldwide viral scare, infected 8,000, and killed 800. In six months.

The PM calls it 'herd-immunity'. The healthy and strong must be infected to form a shield of immunity around the old and weak. Infected by a virus we still know little about. In effect this is the biggest medical experiment the country has ever undertaken. 

The health authorities say about 60 percent of the population will be infected eventually. That's 10.2 million people. Current estimates for patients that need intensive care are about 5 percent. And depending on how overwhelmed the ICU's are at the time, half of those could end up dead.

This means that our dear leader is now flipping a coin on the lives of 510.000 of his fellow Dutchmen. 

On the other side of the globe, the infections are waning due to widespread testing and quarantining. The draconian measures seem to be bearing fruit. Whereas the Chinese, South-Koreans, and Taiwanese first looked to the West as a beacon, now they realize that they are the future, and we are the past. 

Is this the last cry of Western hegemony? 

'Let them get sick, let them die, so we can save the economy.'