I am reading an article, The state in the time of covid-19, in The Economist. I don't completely understand a particular phrase and want to know if I have the right idea.
Last two paragraphs from the article for context:
The most worrying is the dissemination of intrusive surveillance. Invasive data collection and processing will spread because it offers a real edge in managing the disease. But they also require the state to have routine access to citizens’ medical and electronic records. The temptation will be to use surveillance after the pandemic, much as anti-terror legislation was extended after 9/11. This might start with tracing tb cases or drug dealers. Nobody knows where it would end, especially if, having dealt with covid-19, surveillance-mad China is seen as a model.
Surveillance may well be needed to cope with covid-19. Rules with sunset clauses and scrutiny built in can help stop it at that. But the main defence against the overmighty state, in tech and the economy, will be citizens themselves. They must remember that a pandemic government is not fit for everyday life.
What does "pandemic government" mean?
The definition of "pandemic" in most authoritative sources include the word "disease". After reading the article, the only reasonable meaning of "pandemic government" that I can think of is that "the government is going to be everywhere." The author is essentially saying that the government will be a disease (and nobody wants a disease?). Is this interpretation correct? Is the author indirectly saying that a certain country's government is a disease? This seems a bit extreme, and I doubt the author wants to say this.
Definitions from dictionaries (of the adjective form):
Cambridge: (of a disease) existing in almost all of an area or in almost all of a group of people, animals, or plants
Collins: (of a disease) affecting persons over a wide geographical area; extensively epidemic
Merriam-Webster: occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population
Macmillan (derived word): an occurrence of a disease that affects many people across a whole country or the whole world