COVID-19, the severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by the coronavirus, does not have a particularly high mortality rate. But it is highly contagious. Thus, while the mortality among those infected with the virus has been estimated at around 2 to 3 percent, the absolute number is growing fast. Of course, no one can predict the course of this pandemic. By the time this column goes to print, it may be receding. Or not.
The spread of the coronavirus is replete with ironies. In an age of globalization, it is a global disease. In the midst of a communications revolution, this is a most communicable disease. In a time when society has begun to question hyper-individualism and seeks to reassert communitarian values, the coronavirus sends us back into isolation.