Thank Europe For a Badly Needed Reality Check

By Peter Galuszka

It’s time for a pandemic reality check, especially at Bacon’s Rebellion.

The blog is flooded with post after post about how the coronavirus crisis is exaggerated and how Gov. Ralph Northam “King Ralph” is Public Enemy No. 1 and wields improper power by closing schools, bars, beaches, businesses and so on. I won’t mention names since you know who you are.

Add to backdrop the enforced parochialism at Bacon’s Rebellion, in which we aren’t supposed to think beyond the borders of the Old Dominion, despite the fact that Virginia has enormous ties with other countries and travel and contact are essential.

Among the most damning data about the lack of progress against the virus, led by the unspeakably incompetent leadership of Donald Trump and Virginia’s provincialism, can be found in a small story in today’s Washington Post.

As some readers may know, the European Union has finally loosened its travel rules, particularly for Canada, New Zealand and Japan. But not for the United States. Why? As of June 15, the E.U. had recorded only 15 new cases of COVID 19 infection per 100,000 for the previous two weeks. The U.S. recorded a whopping 145 cases per 100,000 for the same period.

That’s a big difference. One reason is that Republican governors, urged on by conservatives and Trump, reopened their states to business too soon. The virus shot up and has been recording record new levels. Some in Virginia have pushed for the same thing.  At BR, we are treated to daily rants about the need to reopen schools with specious claims that school children are largely immune. Such reporting is completely irresponsible.

The Rest of the World may not be important to Bacons Rebellion where Europeans have been referred to derisively as “Euroweenies.”But it definitely is to Virginia. Northern Virginia has perhaps the largest concentration of globally-minded government and private industry offices. Washington-Dulles International Airports is one of the most important global transportation hubs in the world.

If you want to go to Europe anytime in the near future, forget it, unless, you are a diplomat, own property there, are there on a family visit or are an agricultural worker. You might get into the United Kingdom, but you have to quarantine for 14 days (about the length of most vacations). If you don’t, the Brits will stick you with a $1,250 fine.

Trade is affected which is important for Virginians since Hampton Roads has some of the world’s busiest and most developed port facilities. After Canada and China, E.U. countries such as the U.K. and Belgium are major importers of goods from the Old Dominion.

Schools such as the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech get big boosts by hosting foreign students and sending U.S. ones to study abroad. That’s in jeopardy.

Once again, it is crucial that Virginians look at the cold, hard facts. It is essential to consider how the U.S. is viewed overseas. Under Trump, the U.S. has lost its role as the leader of the free world. We are scorned by other countries. I know since I have many overseas friends and this is what they tell me.

COVID 19 is Exhibit A.