Oh the places you can’t go
America is not united anymore and it’s barely a state. They have crashed right through failed state into a plague state, unwelcome across the world. This has been predicted, including here. Now it has come to pass. Just look at the map.
Americans have gone from having access to most of the world to being banned from most of it. Today, Americans are only allowed in a few Caribbean islands and the Balkans. An American passport is now worthless. Worse than worthless, it’s a plague.
In the absence of a humane government, America is now ruled by COVID-19. Welcome to the Plague States of America.
I think it is difficult for Americans to understand that they are, to use an epidemiological term, completely fucked. COVID-19 could have been managed in January, or February, or even now, but not a full year later, in January 2021. Given than you need a functioning government to manage this pandemic, that’s the soonest Americans can get one.
It’s far too late.
The most reliable projections are saying 200,000 dead and 50 million infected by election day in November. Even these projections struggle to account for completely irrational federal actions like denigrating masks, pushing to reopen early, and pushing students back into schools. This is not the absence of public health, this is its opposite.
It is, in effect, governance by COVID-19. Not a failed state. A plague state.
Even after election day, Donald Trump will still be in power for nearly 3 months, until January 20th. Besides impeaching a dead-duck President, there’s nothing America can do but wait, while COVID-19 grows ever stronger. Grows completely out of control. In a pandemic, days matter, hours matter. A year is entirely too late.
America will be lucky to exit this pandemic with less than a million dead and 100 million infected. The living will be lucky to exit their country within the next five years.
Welcome to the club. Post-colonial bullshit and racism have made my Sri Lankan passport worthless for years. Now the American passport is worse. America has crashed straight through the third world into the fourth.
Here is a list, in total, of all the places Americans can go. Most of them are small Caribbean islands.
ALL THE PLACES YOU CAN GO1. Albania | 15. Lebanon
2. Antigua and Barbuda | 16. Maldives
3. Aruba | 17. Mexico
4. The Bahamas | 18. North Macedonia
5. Barbados | 19. St. Lucia
6. Belize | 20. St. Maarten
7. Bermuda | 21. St. Vincent &
8. Croatia | 22. Serbia
9. Dominican Republic | 23. Tanzania
10. Ecuador* | 24. Turkey
11. French Polynesia | 25. Turks &
12. Ireland* | 26. Ukraine
13. Jamaica | 27. UAE*
14. Kosovo | 28. UK**14 day quarantine required, not included in map.
American now have access to exactly two dozen states, four more (*) if they want to endure a 14-day quarantine on the end. Americans have gone from world power to getting the side-eye from Ecuador in a matter of months. Right now Americans are only really welcome on remote islands or at corralled resorts in Mexico, where they can be isolated from everyone else.
It’s not that other nations don’t want to welcome Americans, they just can’t. The point of a passport is that a sovereign power vouches for its bearer, but America can’t vouch for the health of their citizens at all. America’s public health regime is far less trustworthy than Liberia’s (which is actually quite good). Its sovereign is mad.
At the same time, you can’t trust Americans. Americans have poor hygiene (low masking rate) and at least 40% of the population can’t be trusted to even believe that COVID-19 exists, let alone to take it seriously. They’re likely to refuse testing, not report symptoms, break quarantine, and generally follow rules. Americans have a toxic combination of ignorance and arrogance that makes them unwelcome travelers.
They have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with them. Some of them, I assume, are good people, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a plague passport. Return to sender.
That’s the near future of the United States. An epidemic that spreads largely unchecked until next year. A population to unprotected and ignorant to be allowed anywhere else. A world that largely suppresses the virus — from Mongolia to Ghana to Trinidad & Tobago — but which has to keep America in isolation.
In the end, Trump did what he said. He built a wall around America and made the world pay for it. He just never told Americans that they’d be stuck inside. Welcome to the Plague States of America. You can check out, but you can never leave.