Fancy playing at pandemic politics?

3 minute read

There’s people out there who might learn a thing or two from this cute game.

Our political leaders are always grateful for the “free advice” they receive from members of the public and the media on how they’re handling the pandemic.

Even here at TMR,we can’t thank enough the commentators who cut through every analysis and nuance with the righteous sword of simplicity, because it’s so obvious to them what needs to be done.

If you’d love to get your mitts on the controls of state, and think you’d be a dab hand at balancing prosperity and public health, here’s the game for you.

In “Ceo of Pandemic: Save your population” your aim is to achieve herd immunity for your population while avoiding mass death and insurrection. Sound fun? Start by choosing your country.

“It has not been a long time since you are selected as a leader for your country,” you are told.

“These days, Some information is being circulated around that WHO prepares to declare pandemic officially [sic]. None could estimate that the virus announced a short time ago could have such an impact. There is only one option left. Save your population by having them achieve herd immunity as soon as possible.”

In what is basically a fun exercise in modelling, you adjust a few parameters – decide whether to close your borders and how far to lock down your people; set an expenditure rate for vaccine research; purchase vaccines if available – and run your settings by hitting “Next week” to see how your decisions have affected your population’s health and the economy.

Eg should you …

  • “Allocate a considerably large amount of resources of this country into research to find a vaccine for this pandemic
  • “Allocate some amount of resources of this country into research to find a vaccine for this pandemic
  • “Didn’t you hear the survival of fittest? This is the law of nature, my friends. We will try to go for herd immunity without pouring extra resources into find vaccines. I would appreciate it if one could manage to find it, though …”

You’ll have to make decisions such as whether to close schools, build hospitals and invest in vaccines, and how to talk to the media.

Watch the Reff go up and down, try not to rack up too many deaths or crash your health system, but also keep an eye on your economic situation and prosperity.

Will you play it super safe with your people’s health, or is there a little Bolsonarista in you?

You’ll be buoyed along by quotes like this from the Stoic Epictetus: “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.”

You’ll also be peppered with advice, such as that your border closures are making you extremely unpopular.

Personally, the Back Page has decided on the basis of this result that politics and policy are a bit harder than they look:

If you want to tell a journalist that covid is no worse than influenza, feel free not to email

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