The insurance against possible non-contagious conditions may not deliver what was promised if a contagious event occurs, and the medicine for contagious diseases do not promise a very impressive recovery rate. With COVID19, we learned that our health care premiums do not guarantee access to health care when we need it.
Our panicked government locked down non-essential opportunities that most benefit the younger populations. The same government already has decided on a similar trade for a future vaccination program that will primarily impact the younger population and may not even apply to the older population. We are frighteningly close to risking sterilizing our next generation to get this vaccine out. We may have already made that decision with the first imposition of the lock-downs.
We once had a medical system that can competently manage epidemics. We discarded it to make room for the managed-condition healthcare system we have now. Our system has proved that it cannot tolerate an epidemic, something that history tells us is a fact of nature. As a result, when an epidemic appears, we have to stop everything until a vaccine can make it go away.
Human-based governments are not well equipped to handle the contradiction we are facing now. We have to make decisions now based on the influential population we have now. As a result, we are unable to consider the needs of the influential population we will have when this crisis is over. Most of the decisions made now will benefit people who will no longer be around when the future has to deal with the consequences. In addition many of those who do survive will be handicapped directly by the policies we made to benefit people who are no longer around.
From a policy perspective there is a opportunity choice to make. One, the government devotes resources to acquiring and managing ventilator inventories. Or two, the government devotes resources to finding a way for future patients to never need ventilators. It appears to me that we have decided on the first option, thus condemning future survivors to endure the lung damage from ventilators.
We may be wasting valuable energy and attention on obtaining, allocating, and stockpiling ventilators that are not going to change the overall statistical outcomes of this pandemic. We may be better off focusing our attention on other more productive avenues for protecting the population from reaching the point where ventilators are the last available option.
The question I want answered is what is the overall effectiveness of hospitalization for Covid19 compared to the effectiveness of home care even through the worst of the disease. In both settings some will die and some will survive. I imagine that hospitalization would save more lives than home self care. What is the marginal benefit of one versus the other?
Given the established one-size fits all medical policies, we have no choice but to allow the general population only to know general counts of cases and outcomes with no additional information such as precise locations and the specific age or other characteristics of that location’s patient. I ask whether there has ever been a time when anyone in government has seriously defended this approach with a serious consideration that an epidemic could actually happen before the collapse of society.
Based on our current system of government based on democratic processes and product liability lawsuits, we deny ourselves an option to responding to this epidemic: availability of consumer life-support systems. This option potentially could save more lives or at least provide comfort to more people than what hospitals can dispense. It is because of our forms of governing that we have made such devices illegal or prohibitively expensive for consumers.
In a pandemic, there are primarily just a few conditions that need treatment, where pneumonia is probably the most common. So, part of preparation for a future pandemic should have focused more attention on preparing for pneumonia treatment instead of counting on processes to prevent the pandemic to spread in the first place. If we had better treatment for pneumonia and had better stores of equipment to manage the condition, we would have less to fear from pandemics.