He recently called attention to an extraordinary book published seven years ago that already laid it all out.
In Tempetes Microbiennes, Patrick Zylberman, a professor of History of Health in Paris, detailed the complex process through which health security, so far at the margins of political strategies, was sneaking into center stage in the early 2000s. The WHO had already set the precedent in 2005, warning about "50 million deaths" around the world caused by the incoming swine flu. In the worst-case scenario projected for a pandemic, Zylberman predicted that "sanitary terror" would be used as an instrument of governance.
That worst-case scenario has been revamped as we speak. The notion of a generalized obligatory confinement is not warranted by any medical justification, or leading epidemiological research, when it comes to fighting a pandemic. Still, that was enshrined as the hegemonic policy – with the inevitable corollary of countless masses plunged into unemployment.