Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Covid-19. Where Do We Go From Here?

“Churchill: "Madam, would you sleep with me for a million pounds?" 
Socialite: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill... Well, I suppose... we would have to discuss terms, of course... " 
Churchill: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?" 
Socialite: "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!" 
Churchill: "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price”
That exchange, attributed to Winston Churchill, came to mind when I was pondering the political calculations when governments decide how and when to lift the Covid-19 lockdown.

If, here in Canada, we knew the country could return to business as usual - no social distancing, no quarantine, every business once again open, everyone back to work - but it would mean an additional 1,000 deaths our leaders might well go for it. 2,000 - I expect so. 3,000 - maybe but with a lot of feigned soul searching and deep regret, real "thoughts and prayers" stuff.

The calculus might be much different if real people, names and faces, were attached to the butcher's bill. That would be almost akin to passing a death sentence. "Yes, you guys can go back to work but Aunt Tilly here, well, she's a goner." If it was your Aunt Tilly, however, and you kind of liked her, you might not be too crazy about her taking one - the Big One - for the team.  It's got that 'sacrificing a virgin so that the gods will ensure a good harvest' tone to it.

But, of course, faceless victims are more expendable. Their anonymity greases the wheels of decision making. It reduces the equation to so much haggling in the ranks of political whoredom. In truth, would we expect anything more - or anything less?  Not so long as we don't have to see their faces, eh?

This is more than hypothetical. The powerful consensus in the medical community is that Covid-19 is not a "one and done" emergency. We have been warned, quite plainly, to expect at least one more wave of the pandemic that history has shown could be far more deadly than the first.

Next time we may not have the luxury of a month or two to watch the virus emerge and then spread from country to country before it reaches our land. Next time may be a 'come as you are party.'

Donald Trump has addressed this. He acknowledges that most doctors say it'll be back. He says that America has learned so many lessons from Round One that, if/when Covid-19 resurfaces, the US will nip it in the bud. Except that Round One isn't over. No one has rung the bell. Yet many States are starting to sound the 'all clear' and, in the process, creating the conditions needed for the contagion to grow and spread.

If the political will is too weak to continue the lockdown until Round One is over or very nearly so, how willing or reluctant will governments be to impose lockdown again if/when the virus seems to be coming for a rematch?

What's the plan? How will government respond? How long will that take? What will be expected of us? Where's this vaccine? So many questions and yet no answers.


rumleyfips said...

I went to the chiropractor today. A Palmer coolaide drinker, he was all, anti vax, germ theory is wrong and this is just the normal seasonal flu and the WHO is lying. He can hardly wait until the whole population has it because then everyone will understand it is only dangerous to the oldies . Funny, I'm 72 and the youngest patient in the room. He is quite willing to kill off his clientel.

I told him that in a year he can figure it out for himself. Just compare the number of total deaths, in Canada, the US or any other country, for 2019 to 2020.If there is a rise in deaths than this is not just the regular minimally dangerous flu.

He kept arguing that the WHO is inflating numbers or minimizing numbers ( both at the same time apparently ) and that all health authorities are misdiagnosing. I explained that none of that need be thought about. Just seeing if there are more total death takes all the extraneous stuff out of the equation. He changed the subject.

Lorne said...

I've also heard Trump refer to his fellow Americans as warriors in this battle against the bug. I guess the Idiot-in-Chief expects them to be willing to march to their deaths for the sake of the economy. Appeals to militarism and patriotism often are effective in 'Murica.

The Disaffected Lib said...

Rumley, I don't get it. With this guy's deranged worldview why on Earth would you choose him instead of another, potentially sane chiropractor?

The Disaffected Lib said...

Yeah, I noticed that too, Lorne. Warriors, indeed. What a "dog whistle" word to troll before the base, knowing they'll bite for sure. Imagine a president knowing how easy it is to manipulate a large segment of the populace even to the point of self-harm.

My mind drifts to newsreel films of civilians - men, women and children - on Okinawa who threw themselves off the cliffs en masse because they had been led to believe that even worse awaited them from the advancing Americans.

rumleyfips said...

He's the closest one Mound 45 minutes away. Ciropractors are thin on the ground here in the Nova Scotian woods.He helps me function and I don't buy his bullshit so I think I win.