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.
Based on the recent policy decisions, we have learned that pandemics are unavoidable and unpredictable. We learned that the best minds in epidemiology dictate a policy that inevitably kills businesses instantly, and obliterates capital everywhere. We learned there is no point in any form of long-term planning or investing because the public policy is that everything is expendable when it comes to fighting a pandemic of anything with an elevated rate of mortality.
As during the Prohibition where people moved their social gathering from public bars and saloons to their private residences, I think the same thing will happen now. Social gathering in comparable numbers will resume but they will be in private “speak easy” locations with restricted entry to those who have the right test results instead of knowing the right password.
The world is getting close to the terrain and it is speeding up, but we’re entirely focused on some problem. That problem we are focusing on is serious, but if left alone it will not alone lead to the demise of the entire modern economy and the civilization that economy supports. On the other hand, single-minded focus on this problem can leave everything in ruin. I don’t trust the pilots.
With this more diffuse spread of the disease and early warning from experience out of China, we could be implementing their late-stage practices right up front. Require people to check-in/check-out of each public gathering space, have them record their names and times when the enter and leave, and record their responses to health questions along with a quick temperature reading.
We lack the leadership with the courage to govern by telling the medical advisers that we fully understand the concept of flattening the contagion curve, but the medical advisers do not understand that the capacity curve can not remain flat indefinitely.
I don’t think the rapid declaration of emergencies and the cascading declarations at every state and local government was a prudent decision. I would like to imagine a dedomenocracy would have come up with a wiser plan of action. A wiser plan of action would be to be much more selective about declaration of emergency and focused in such a way to minimize the impact.
The more likely scenario at this time is that a lot of vulnerable people will get the illness, many will have the complications that will overwhelm the medical systems, and many will die. If we continue to quarantine our potential heroes, the situation will be far worse with rapidly declining medical capacity or even a rapidly declining carrying capacity for the entire population.