Friday, February 14, 2020
The Border Wall may become a vital defense against coronavirus
News that President Trump is about to raid Pentagon funds once again to build more of the border wall between the USA and Mexico will doubtless enrage those who believe in free immigration, with or without official sanction. However, the emerging coronavirus epidemic may make such a wall an even more important element of general US security.
If the coronavirus epidemic spreads to Central and South America, those living there are going to be in dire straits. There are relatively few medical facilities available, poverty is rampant, and many local, regional and national governments are corrupt and inefficient. That's a dire combination. As a result, it's not impossible that a great many people will literally flee the epidemic, heading for the only place they can think of that has the resources to treat it. Guess where that is? That's right. The United States of America.
We simply can't cope with such an invasion. Our medical facilities are going to be stretched to the limit if coronavirus breaks loose here as well. We won't be able to handle hundreds of thousands or millions more, particularly since they may be carrying the infection with them. It shows few or no warning signs during its incubation period, so detecting carriers at or near the border will be almost impossible. It'll become vitally important to keep them out altogether, rather than risk their spreading the infection out of control.
I'm willing to bet that nations south of us will be cracking down on the movement of illegal aliens as well, and probably far more harshly than we do. Mexico has enough problems of its own without adding the coronavirus to them. I can see armed guards firing on anyone trying to break into Mexico, even if they only want to transit the country on their way to the USA. Mexico won't be able to afford the risk of their presence, any more than we can. The same goes for countries south of Mexico.
My big worry is Africa. There are only two or three countries on that continent with laboratory facilities to test for coronavirus infections, and most nations there don't have extensive hospital facilities. If the disease gets loose in an area so overpopulated, ill-equipped and poverty-stricken, it might wipe out entire communities. Even "normal" palliative measures such as decongestant sprays, treatments for colds and flu, etc. are simply not available there. As for facial tissues, face masks, basic hygiene products, etc., forget it! There aren't enough of them now, let alone under epidemic conditions. There'll be no means to stop the coronavirus getting worse. The rest of the world won't be able to help, either; nations will hang onto what they've got, for the use of their own citizens. Again, as in South America, one likely result will be desperate attempts, by anyone and everyone who can afford it, to reach any country offering greater protection against infection and/or better treatment. Europe can expect a new tidal wave of illegal immigration from Africa, and it's likely to wash up on our shores too.
So far, this is all speculation. We simply don't know how bad this is going to get. However, if the coronavirus escapes the rigid top-down control of Chinese society, and becomes widespread in less regimented parts of the world . . . it's going to be interesting, to put it mildly.