Sunday, March 28, 2021

Clarity in Retrospect; the Proper Way to Fight the Pandemic

Buckminster Fuller may be a distant relative. He was, in any case, a kind of soul-mate. Among other things, he saved many many lives by influencing the design of highways to take human weaknesses as drivers into account. Banking curves and designing proper turning radiuses to match braking propensities and more that I can't remember. His designs met drivers as we are and not as we should be.

Against this pandemic, we, collectively on the planet, don't seem to be able to move beyond our moral imperative that a life - any life - is more important than the collective wellbeing of us all. And so we seem to have decided that we must inoculate the most vulnerable first.

The elderly and the infirm are the least mobile and therefore the least likely to spread the virus. We are the easiest to contain. Many of us no longer need to leave the house to work. 

We should have inoculated the bad drivers first, and the ones with crappy rides. Start with the poorly paid essential workers, then the irresponsible and irrepressible young adults who will engage in risky behavior no matter what you think they ought to do.

Leave the rich and powerful for last, since they have plenty of options. Or let them have the vaccine at such exorbitant cost that it would subvent the cost for the rest of us. There aren't enough of them to change the overall picture, so they should be out of the picture except as subsidizers. Thank you Dolly!

By leaving our pathetic morality out of the equation, we could have stabilized the population as a whole much more quickly. I'm calling our morality pathetic just because look what we're doing to the planet.

I have been as careful and as isolated as anyone has, and I still caught the virus. I still don't know and can't quite imagine how, since I shopped only every three weeks at six in the morning when I had the store to myself, always wore a mask, and live alone with no socializing at all. I hardly ever left the building!

Given that upwards of half my apartment building, into which I moved mid-pandemic, caught the virus, the most likely thing is that the building became the vector, as it were. I'm calculating by using Occam's razor - the probability that such a population of sick people could occur randomly in such a cluster feels low. But any of us could have contaminated the building.

My own story is, of course, sanitized. Guilty! The very act of moving makes me suspect, right? I wasn't always wearing a mask as I was moving in. I absolve myself by timeline, but does that make me any better morally? Any less guilty? Not!

There is simply no perch for leadership to have made decisions at the level that they needed to be made. The media made all the decisions, and even Doctor Fauci was its subject as much as he might claim dispassionate science. 

We can argue all we want about which is the real fake news, but the fact is that it's all trying to grab our clicks for money anymore. Our reality is hardly formed by science. Part of that trouble is that we've misconstrued science as a search for truth. It's not. It's about truing beliefs, so that we can all agree about the important stuff. 

Perhaps China has a right to boast now. Or perhaps we're just plainly stupid, socially. We can't make a decision to save our lives. Please let's not have an autocrat as our solution! Thank goodness the autocrat that we tried was a nincompoop who simply didn't try.

Just imagine someone in power disclaiming his private beliefs as more true than science. What a nightmare! Oh.

There must be hoards of educated epidemiologists who would agree with me. They must be in hiding, since they don't want to be called out as murderers or worse. But the fact is that someone or some body has to decide whom to sacrifice in the interests of the whole. Not personally whom, the way that certain people in power protect their families. I'm not naming names, but the science of this doesn't allow for personal prediction. It's only the group that matters.

We need at least some guardrails to keep it real. We need to give speeding tickets to all those mask-averse Trumpsters, and set the cost for settlement as getting a vaccine. Invasion of privacy? So is carrying a loaded firearm in public. I have the right to calculate my own risk, but not when I'm in traffic.

Get real. You can't control accident. The virus is predictable only in the aggregate. Along with plenty of other seniors, I will gladly go to the back of any line in favor of my childrens' lives. Hello!? My children may not agree with me, but they're way too young to know better.

They'll do just fine without me. I raised them that way! Yeah right, like I can take credit. Thank goodness they're both their own people, and don't listen to any man telling them what to do.

I only wish that they would obey the speed limits as well as they comply with COVID decency.

And I'm the one who gets speeding tickets! There is no justice.

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