by STEPHEN BYE
Coronavirus…Death to the World Economy?
Anyone who has read my past blogs knows that I have written in a humorous and satirical direction, although this one is definitely not.
The entire world is on the precipice of economic destruction. Everyone, including me, is hopeful we will pull out of this quickly through some medical miracle or whether the current measures will quickly stem the tide of the virus growth. But what if it doesn’t and this panic extends for several months or more?
There are no reliable statistics that can profile the cases where people have been infected and died. The deaths are highly correlated to the aged population and those with underlying health problems. The two countries reporting the highest number of deaths, China and Italy, have older population bases, where smoking is prevalent, and healthy lifestyles are not a priority. According to Italy’s National Health Institute, people with existing health problems accounted for 99% of the deaths, based upon the investigation of the background of 18% (approximately 450 cases) of those victims. More than 75% had high blood pressure, 35% with diabetes, and 30% with heart disease. The average age of the victims is 79.5.
The virus is expanding exponentially and extreme measures have been implemented by governors and mayors across the US. Large companies and small businesses are being crippled, also growing exponentially. In short, the economy is being destroyed right before our eyes. People expect a lifeline from Washington, although the ability of the government to provide economic relief is merely token. There is no way for any entity or plan to replace lost income or future income.
The media, as always, has created unnecessary hysteria and panic. Apparently, that is their mission, evidenced by a myriad of past examples ranging from coverage of natural disasters, war, crime, etc. Exaggeration is their motto. The number of daily deaths due to normal flu, strokes, heart attacks, car accidents, gunfire, etc. far outpace the number of projected daily Covid-19 deaths. Where is the comparison to those deaths to Coronavirus from the media? Where is the focus on the number of Covid-19 recoveries compared to the number of identified or estimated cases? Where are the statistics identifying the profile of the victims to provide some balance to this mania?
The medical world thinks in binary terms…black or white. Medical training enforces a duty to analyze a problem and create one solution. Most of the time, their diagnosis is correct, but sometimes not. Although brilliant, very few doctors have a relative sense of practicality. Patients consider their advice, weight it properly, and occasionally ask for a second or third opinion, especially for a critical case. Coronavirus is a critical issue and policymakers need to step back and evaluate the consequences of a global depression.
Autocratic governors and mayors have dictated draconian measures, although most elected politicians have little business background and no medical training. Their focus is political correctness and to be reelected. The vast population blindly accepts these edicts without questioning their actions. Who can debate doctors and scientists…they are the brightest, so we should always follow their commands?
Yes, there is certainly an argument that a person’s life cannot be replaced, while a business can. Yet, worldwide pandemics and epidemics are part of the natural cycle, just as climate change, and economic disruption. The common philosophy is that science and technology can overcome any crisis. Yes, those “cures” may mitigate near-term damage, although there is a natural evolution to cycles where everything is linked, and punitive actions only postpone the inevitable.
I am 69 years old and supposedly in the target range of risk, although I’m very healthy. However, if I had a severe medical condition, I would isolate myself in my home and order everyone to stay away. I would arrange for someone to shop for groceries or pick up prescriptions and deliver them to my front doorstep without any physical contact. Every person has that option… but the minority has no right to dictate the vast population to self-quarantine.
Please step back and think for yourself…question everything.