SARS CoV2 aka COVID-19: Our Leadership Has Chosen the Totalitarian 'Stick' Model While Destroying the Lives of Millions vs Targeted Closure and Things that Might Actually Wrork
There is tremendous HARM being done by the government. Harm from inaction, harm from lying, harm from destructve policies, harm from lack of any creativity in solving this crisis.
An adult discussion has to weigh all the harms against the risks. In my judgement, for most of the country, the government-induced harms now greatly outweigh the COVID-19 harms. Most of this country should re-open in stages as discussed further below.
Politicians who speak of “shared sacrifice” speak of slaves and masters—and intend to be the masters.
- Sledgehammer closures : Los Angeles is NOT the Alabama Hills and Wyoming is not NYC and the Eastern Sierra is not San Francisco.
- STOP the destructive practice of closing the best possible places for social distancing (National Parks, public lands, local parks and trails). That policy forces people into very few remaining options in close proximity. It is self defeating. If parking lots and similar are issues, just have some mechanism to keep it reasonable.
- An entire field hospital in Washington state did not treat a single COVID-19 patient, and has now been dismantled. Is the system that incompetent for putting resoures where needed?
- The medical profession (leaders delivering recommendations to the public) needs to get its shit together on what works and what doesn’t. Trials with placebo are NOT necessary and IMO, unethical for those on placebo given the fast-acting nature of the virus. Also, ventilators may be killing people, not helping them. The obsessive-compulsive talk about ventilators is crowding out real thought about what might help.
- At least 10 million people are out of work, many already living hand to mouth, with delayed relief checks some won’t get for months due to issues like address changes. And they won’t be nearly enough.
- The loss of businesses that took a lifetime to build for numerous small business owners.
- The loss of life savings for some because they cannot work—and many people have no savings, or very meager savings.
- Colleges and universities with rich endowments like Stanford Unoversity are morally bankrupt (I am a Stanford alum): the implied contract is a college experience on campus, yet they are not refunding tuition even as they forced students to leave 6-8 weeks ago. Ditto for my daughter, who paid full tution at a California UC, but no reduction in tuition is forthcoming in spite of now just getting online classes, no access to the library, etc. This is an unethical ripoff. IMO, the administrators should all take a deep pay cut and that should go to refunds. Let them have a little “shared sacrifice”.
- Forcing people together (closing all public parks and trails) crowds people together, increasing the risk of infection. Not to mention the insane sardine-crowding seen on the news a few weeks ago (customs entry).
- Useless context-free “facts” on mask and other supplies (“20000 masks” means NOTHING without the context of how many are needed).
- STILL no official nationwide policy on masks.
- Fining and arresting people for normal daily actitivities, like taking too far a walk, or similar is NOT good policy at any level for any purpose. Leaders who support such policies should be hounded out of office mercilessly. This is NOT the way to bring people together in a positive way to solve a mutual problem. Focus instead on actual risky behaviors because these idiotic policies improve nothing and make people hate and distrust their leaders.
We are being played by incompetent “leaders” at every level of government. We are being played by an incompetent press unable or unwilling to ask the right questions. We are being trained to accept the authority of armed thugs who cannot be argued with, no matter how idiotic their ideas.
What I want to see happen
Open most of the country for business, in stages—many areas are not at all hard-hit. If outbreaks occur and they are a problem, back off and LEARN. Start this within 2 weeks.
These are just ideas and I am sure there are many others—some might be infeasible or ineffective, but the point is this: the government seems fresh out of even a single idea to make progress; it’s in reactionary mode, not proactive problem-solving mode.
There is risk to trying things, but potential huge benefit to implementing some of these things in some states and/or cities and seeing that they work. If they work, expand it. If not, try something else. Right now, the government has its collective head up its ass and is doing nothing useful to figure out the best approaches.
- Nationwide, require the use of facial coverings in all places frequented by the public.
- Nationwide, require the use of facial coverings and fresh disposable gloves in all places frequented by the public, but particularly in grocery stores, which the majority of the public must use.
- Every day, tell us the nationwide relative supply of N95 respirators (not those idiotic absolute numbers) and when the public can get them. Train the public to use them properly and make sure everyone has them. Make such training mandatory somehow.
- Get hand sanitizer back in supply. We can talk about sending people to Mars but cannot make enough godamn hand sanitizer? Get it done yesterday buy the railcar load.
- OPEN most of the country in places where SARS-CoV2 is not a significant issue, with the mask requirements.
- Nationwide, require that office buildings install HEPA filtration on building ventilation. Require that the humidity conform to what seems to be optimal for minimizing viral spread.
- Be an ADULT and ACCEPT the fact that hurting tens of millions of people more than two weeks has some tradeoff in lives lost. That is the nature of the world. And yes, that means my parents and myself and my wife are part of the group that could get the short end. I accept that tradeoff because I think millions of Americans deserve to not have their lives ruined.
- Create middle-of-nowhere infection centers for young people (COVID-19 Boot Camp?), strictly voluntary, in which they intend to get infected and recover (but no departure until free and clear of virus). Accept the fact that a few will suffer and die, but that we will innoculate a key portion of the population that can then get back to work and help with the crisis and not be vectors for transmission.