Sherman R. Frederick/Marinscope, Marin County
One pernicious canard needs bursting. It’s the idea that anything a government does is justified if it “saves just one life.” Not only is it not true, it’s a refuge for despots.
Here’s the unvarnished truth about COVID-19: It will run through the entire population. Everyone is exposed to it, even with stay-at-home rules. Most will get it. Some will die. The stay at home orders were just a way to initially manage the avalanche — to give time to prevent the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed COVID-19 patients.
If this were an exercise in “saving one life”, we’d never reopen. We’d shut down public transportation entirely. We’d never carpool. HOV lanes would disappear, airports and train stations would shutter. We’d never go to a Giants game, or a recital, or a wedding.
We’d be confined to quarters, forever.
Look, by all accounts we have successfully negotiated the immediate danger. Kudos all around. But, let’s drop the “save one life” rationalization.
Life is a balancing act of risks. It’s time to reopen and get back to as close to normal as we reasonably can.
CREATING DEATH TRAPS
Something like one third of all deaths from the coronavirus have occurred in facilities that care for the elderly. It’s a horrible number for which we’re going to have to do some soul-searching to understand what we did wrong in the initial days of the pandemic.
So, get a load of this story coming out of the Mercury News from reporters Annie Sciacca and Thomas Peele. They reported last week that the state of California is “calling on assisted living facilities to house infected patients in exchange for money.”
The state will pay the facility up to $1,000 a day to move recovering COVID-19 patients out of the hospital and into those facilities.
That mandate is drawing immense pushback from the medical community. According the newspaper:
“Any guidance from the government that opens the door to send more COVID-19 into a nursing home or assisted living facility, to me, is medically unsound,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, a geriatrician and the president of the California Association of Long Term Medicine.
“The assisted living industry is a real estate industry — it is not a health care business.”
As I said earlier, life after coronavirus is going to be a balancing act. Not sure this idea is well balanced.
ONE MORE THING
— Murder hornets — how much toilet paper do we need to buy?
— Some children grow up with more immunity than others, as illustrated in this picture.
— A lady asked me what she had to do to become a Lutheran. I told her she had to believe in Jesus and own a 9X13 casserole dish.
— And finally, these sailors did not enjoy sinko de mayo.
I may have to go to confession for passing along that “sinko” one, so I’ll pick up my knitting and go. Be well, avoid soreheads, and see you next time around.
Sherman Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, publisher of intensely local community newspapers, including the the Novato Advance, the San Rafael News Pointer, the Mill Valley Herald, the Sausalito Marin Scope, the Twin Cities Times, and the Ross Valley Reporter. He may be reached at email@example.com.)