We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I think you are correct. Although we didn't have much information and China lied to us I am sure our spooks were watching what China was doing. China was panicked and they appeared to be over reacting. I think that at some level our government knew this was going to be a terrible disease to deal with. We probably won't know what they knew or thought they knew for a decade or so but I think the spooks were spooked.
It would surprise me not at all to find the globalists behind the entire event. Using the administrative state, CDC, FDA, and NIH to do the virus, virus, virus, just as they used the DOJ, FBI, and CIA to do the Russia, Russia, Russia. And both using the useful idiots in Britain which was the Steele dossier and then using the totally idiotic virus model. The Russians and Chinese must be laughing their asses off. And we still have Barr, the US attorney general, still trying to save the institutions while trying to remove a few of the guilty. Burn it down.
Because until the last few decades medical interventions of any kind were mostly futile so we didn't expect any better? Prior to 1940, doctors killed more patients than they saved. Penicillin was the turning point.
Because we can actually treat some diseases and conditions that had previously overwhelmed us, we developed the (possibly crazy) idea that we might have a chance of doing something constructive.
People need to stop pretending it's because we were so much wiser and braver then. I don't know why this narrative is so appealing to conservatives, but it has little to do with reality. People don't change that much, even over generations. There's genetics and incentives. Governments and societies did amazingly stupid things in the past, too, just like now.
Assistant Village Idiot
Experts have more knowledge than previous threats to public health, but the average person today, including politicians, understands little more than decades ago. The question posed is asking why we the people reacted so differently.
We did do something constructive. We shut down a strong, healthy economy in a matter of weeks. There is no agreement as to whether that was a good idea or not.
Wiser and braver? Maybe, maybe not. But the public was more stoic then. More religious. Less emotional and less aware of each others' feelings. Our politicians were freer to have an exchange of ideas without thousands of emails and calls, without millions of facebook opinions. We have panicked and our politicians have pandered to our emotions rather than considering consequences and making hard decisions.
I remember the '57 flu a bit as a child, by the time HK flu came around I was working in a department store. Our store never shut down (nor did any I know of) , neither customers or clerks were wandering around in masks. LIFE SIMPLY WENT ON.
I needed to have my eyeglass frame fixed and went to Costco this morning. The shop was mostly shut down. The counter person handled my glasses with rubber gloves, handled my credit card with tweezers. Sheesh
I suddenly felt I was in a SNL Howard Hughes comedy sketch.