Write an alternative history of the U.S. if proper COVID policies had been followed?

How about this idea for a novel: Describe what the U.S. would look like in 2024 if proper COVID policies had been followed in 2020-2021.

Suppose that the U.S. had been run by Science-following Democrats without interference from Republicans or Republican-appointed federal judges. “COVID-19: Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated” (January 2021) describes a Rasmussen poll:

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democratic voters would favor a government policy requiring that citizens remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies, if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Nearly half (48%) of Democratic voters think federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Democrats would favor governments requiring citizens to temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Democratic voters would support temporarily removing parents’ custody of their children if parents refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The survey also found that more black voters (63%) than whites (45%), Hispanics (55%) or other minorities (32%) support Biden’s vaccine mandate for government workers and employees of large companies.

President Biden’s strongest supporters are most likely to endorse the harshest punishments against those who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. Among voters who have a Very Favorable impression of Biden, 51% are in favor of government putting the unvaccinated in “designated facilities,” and 54% favor imposing fines or prison sentences on vaccine critics.

(Note that I previously proposed Protection Camps for the Deplorables and euthanizing the unvaccinated to ensure sufficient hospital capacity for the Righteous.)

Perhaps the novel could follow two families, since statistics are never as interesting as personal stories. Alyssa and Emily Good have two non-binary children together: Dakota and Zen. All get vaccinated and, whenever recommended by the CDC, boosted. Alyssa works at a reproductive health care clinic providing abortion care to pregnant people. Emily works at a non-profit organization fighting anti-2SLGBTQQIA+ hate. They enjoy a rich life in a COVID-free United States and get together with neighbors in their means-tested affordable housing complex to hang BLM and Rainbow banners.

Gunner and Katelynn Bad breed like rabbits because they reject the Sacrament of Abortion Care and have four kids: Cooper, Mallory, Rhett, and Josie (only 3 months old when the Great Removal begins). Gunner sells pickup trucks and goes hunting on weekends while Katelynn stays at home. The Bad parents, having refused the Sacrament of Fauci, are confined to their exurban house while their kids are taken away by a platoon of National Guard troops who arrive in Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The 3-month-old is allowed 2 Zoom sessions per week with the parents, on account of her young age, while the old kids get 1 Zoom session.

I fed all of the above to ChatGPT. Out came a mushy plot titled “The Great Divide” in which “A common threat or challenge unites the Good and Bad families” and “The families reevaluate their beliefs and values”. My further instruction:

Rewrite this so that the Good and Bad families never come back together and the Bad family is sent to a higher security prison after asserting, contrary to Science, that the COVID-19 vaccines of 2021 did not prevent infection or transmission.

The novel this time was called “Worlds Apart”. Here’s an excerpt:

Then I asked ChatGPT to write the first chapter. Here it is, not in quote style for readability:

Chapter 1: Parallel Lives

The morning sun stretched its golden rays across the suburban landscape, illuminating rows of houses that differed only in minor details. In the means-tested affordable housing complex, the Good family began their day like any other.

Alyssa and Emily Good rose early, setting their alarms to make the most of the limited hours they had to themselves. They were the kind of couple that fit together seamlessly, like puzzle pieces that had found their match. Alyssa, a caring and dedicated nurse, worked at a reproductive health care clinic providing abortion care to pregnant individuals. Emily spent her days at a non-profit organization fighting against anti-2SLGBTQQIA+ hate. Together, they created a home full of love and acceptance for their two non-binary children, Dakota and Zen.

The Goods had eagerly embraced the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, seeing it as their civic duty to protect themselves and others from the pandemic. They kept up with every recommendation by the CDC, receiving boosters as needed, and found solace in the knowledge that they were doing their part to keep their family and community safe.

A few miles away, the Bad family occupied a larger, more secluded home. Gunner and Katelynn Bad, fervent believers in traditional values, had built a life together based on self-reliance and independence. With four children – Cooper, Mallory, Rhett, and baby Josie – the Bads were an ever-growing family. Gunner worked at a local dealership, selling pickup trucks, while Katelynn, a proud stay-at-home mom, nurtured their children.

Unlike the Goods, the Bads rejected the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. They saw it as an infringement on their personal liberties, a belief reinforced by the misinformation they consumed on social media. In their world, the vaccines were an untested, unnecessary risk. And so, as the deadline for vaccination loomed, the Bads chose defiance over compliance.

The tension in the air grew thick as the consequences of this choice settled in. When the government announced the Protection Camps for the unvaccinated, the Bad family scoffed, believing the threat to be little more than a scare tactic. But as more families were forcibly removed from their homes, the reality of their situation became impossible to ignore.

The day the National Guard arrived at the Bad family’s doorstep, it was raining, the sky filled with menacing clouds. Gunner and Katelynn watched in terror as their children were taken from them, the younger ones crying for their parents. Baby Josie, just three months old, was whisked away in a military vehicle, her cries barely audible over the sound of the rain.

The Good family, meanwhile, continued to live in relative peace. They regularly gathered with their neighbors in the housing complex, hanging BLM and Rainbow banners as a show of solidarity. As they shared stories and laughter, the fate of the Bad family seemed like a distant nightmare – something that could never touch their happy, vaccinated existence.

But the fates of the Good and Bad families were more intertwined than they knew. As the Bads were confined to their home, they began a desperate search for any means of reuniting with their children. At the same time, the Goods began to question the harshness of the policies that had forced a family apart.

The world had changed, irrevocably, and the two families found themselves on opposite sides of a deep and unbridgeable divide. Unbeknownst to them, their paths would soon cross, and their beliefs would be challenged in ways they could never have imagined.

5 thoughts on “Write an alternative history of the U.S. if proper COVID policies had been followed?

  1. ChatGPT has literally skills of a middle schooler graphomaniac: repetitive, pompous, and totally boring. As well as completely bereft of any understanding of reality and human nature. Which makes it more than qualified to be a journalist.

    But then, these of us who understand how it works expected nothing different from this glorified Markov chain generator.

  2. Two thoughts come to mind: the findings of the Rasmussen poll are gruesome. The second: my wife is a literature buff and reads a lot, she devours the long and short lists of various prestigious prizes. She tells me that most of it, unfortunately, starts being like your plot. Minorities everywhere. Colonialism, race, victimhood. The heroes are all indigenous people (Australian aboriginals, Jamaican blacks etc) or Central American immigrants. Much bewilderment of the (innocent) hero at the contact with the white man, at the societal pattern imposed by him, the world seen through the lens of the non-white hero. Exotic, animistic beliefs or superstitions for ethnic colour. Luckily, she says, sometimes the books are high-quality literature because they’re written by all kind of geeky academics, but then there are many impostors who get into the mix because of the subjects they handle.

  3. I don’t see “Protection Camps for the unvaccinated” in the prompt. Is ChatGPT trained on greenspun.com?

    (Extra credit for using the vague phrase “consequences”, which is one of the favorites of the oppressive “left”.)

  4. How about this story: When the virus is first discovered in Wuhan, the entire surrounding sector is put on immediate and total lockdown. Nobody in or out until the virus completely burns out inside, no matter how long that takes. When it’s over, as compensation for their loss of liberty, every man, woman, and child in the sector is given $10 million, donated by the governments of the world who recognize that this cost is a pittance compared to the economic devastation if the virus were allowed out.

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