Humans are such irrational and emotional beings. When they see numbers creeping up paired with ominous warnings, they live in fear and when they see numbers go down, they become jubilant. But when asked, what has objectively changed? How many people you personally know, got infected during the waxing period and how many got better during the waning? No answer is forth coming other than state news said it is so.
When the numbers were going up, was it possible that they weren't going up as fast as other unreported diseases such as the flu, lung cancer, and cirrhosis? And when the numbers are going down, is it possible that people have stopped going to the hospital to get tested over very mild conditions or that institutions stopped testing every possible case as is the case in the US? I personally do not know the answers to these questions nor do I want to speculate, these are questions one has ask ones' selves.
And what does "the greatest nation" even mean? What are the metrics? If we are stuck thinking that it is a honorable goal to make one nation or group of people better than another, then I'm afraid humanity will not advance beyond the 21st century and am very glad I am old enough to not be able to live to see the end result.
As far as the problems surrounding definition of "greatest nation" go, personally I believe that for most part it is competition that got humanity this far. It brought us most of both the good and bad that we have, or what we are.
Rivalry and competition is nature's way of inducing improvement and evolution. But if we are nothing more than a product of nature then why have laws, morality, and philosophy, just let our primal urges carry the day. And if we do not aspire to utilized all the gifts that the creator imbibed in us, even the more reason not pay attention to worldly concepts like viruses and disease and simply live in blissful ignorance.
I can only hope that one day, humanity can evolve beyond the pettiness of nationalism and ethnocentrism just as we are now, ever so slowly, moving beyond racism and male chauvinism.
Not so sure we are moving forward now. Slipping back into nationalism, fundamentalism and conservatism.
Laws, morality, philosophy etc could be considered just another dimension of competing against other nations (or whatever teams, or even individuals) that lack such. Increasing stability of our society to give us edge against less stable societies. Just a more advanced extension of our biology and primal urges.
Developed countries, or citizens therein, may slowly be moving beyond whatever, but that could mean just moving the goal - not changing the game.
But I give that eventually it's better to compete against others with cleaner environment or fairer society, than wheels of industry or weapons for example.
It is the predictability that gives any kind the competitive edge over others that lacks it. Law for example is one of such. :-) an extension of nature selection. Even law of jungle is law, however primitive it appears. Hahahah
It is actually refreshing to see a civil discussion with varying viewpoints without censorship, despite shifting away from original topic. Diversity of opinions evolve communities into something stronger. Hive mind mentality under censorship weakens communities.
***Thread cleaned up. Stay on topic please***
"what has objectively changed? How many people you personally know, got infected"
None, but I know a few dozen who could not return to their jobs or even hobbies on schedule. Even the leadership mentioned above by CindyLi saw the economic consequences creeping up.
Those consequences are cause for fear or jubilations for many more than having or avoiding the infection is.
Adding to JanJal's response to Trumpster's "hunch(es)," it is less about personally knowing the victims than the systemic disruptions inflicted on individual and societal levels.
Do you personally know the victims whom were buried alive under the rubble of the collapsed quarantine building in Fujian?
You probably still wouldn't know any fallen victims if 1,000 such buildings collapsed simultaneously across China. Yet it would touch home as many of us live in buildings in China.
In comparison, thousands of elders who died from Covid-19 were living their lives normally, like us. We would relate to victims of both fallen concrete or floating covid, reacting empathetically as fear and suspicion would similarly arise...
but toward building contractors, construction materials, inspectors, local government, and real estate developers. For a time, citizens may even fear walking into buildings of their own residence, offices, or shopping malls. A ripple effect denting trust in the system and the economy.
Such are other consequences.