Professor Darel Paul commands our attention again.

Have you been paying attention to EphBlog on this topic? You should have been. Recall where we were on February 25th:

Long-time readers will not be surprised to know that the EphBlog bunker is well-prepped for pandemic mayhem. Have you replenished your supplies recently?

The two previous pieces in this area have been as prescient. Read them. Where are we now?

Any geographic area — any village, town, city, county, or country — can allow either open migration from the outside or freedom of internal movement. You can’t have both, or you will, unavoidably, be on the way to widespread infection. Only walls of some sort can stop the descent to herd immunity, and a million or more American deaths.

Paul understands that, of course. What he fails to see, however, is that limiting internal movement enough to matter in the US is impossible.

First, our governing class is incompetent. Second, our country is too wide open. How could the governor of Pennsylvania, even if he wanted to, close all the border crossings with New York State? Third, our politics are broken. Even if Trump tried to create internal borders, the Democrats would go crazy.

My recommendation to Trump is the same now as it was on March 14. Close the borders to the outside world. (We are now 90% (98%?) of the way there anyway.) Would that matter much to the course of the infection? I don’t know. But it can only help. It is also the best way for Trump to increase his odds of re-election. (I am honestly interested in contrary opinions to this claim.)

What will happen? I don’t know. On some dimensions, I am more optimistic than I was three weeks ago. Who would have predicted, say, California’s ability to stop the exponential growth of infections? Some treatments seem promising. Bill Gates is doing amazing work with vaccine production. On other dimensions, things are much worse. CV-19 is now everywhere. Even with closed borders, it might be impossible to find every carrier. Cases will explode again in the fall, just as they did with the Spanish Flu, for which the second wave was much deadlier than the first.

And what would that mean for Williams, come September 2020?

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