The social media virus experts have been going at it non-stop for the past week, and I don’t expect that to lessen since a huge swath of the population is now stuck at home without sports to watch. However, the “debate” amounts this:
Side A: It’s just a flu
Side B: It’s novel virus – it’s NEW. No one has immunity which requires a majority of people to catch it in order to develop a natural immunity. That makes it more dangerous. There is no simple treatment for complications.
Side A: But, the vast majority of people who contract it will be fine. This is an overreaction.
Side B: The vast majority isn’t the problem, it’s those with preexisting health issues and the elderly who are at high risk.
Side A: Then sequester them and let the rest of us go about life.
Side B: The rest of us have to take care of them. Elderly parents and grandparents, people with asthma and emphysema, diabetics. There is no practical way to make that separation and not infect them. It’s too late.
Side A: So what? We have great medical care, here. They will be taken care of.
Side B: To an extent. We have a limited number of ICU beds, and a limited amount of medical personnel to deal with it. Once they are overwhelmed, people start dying.
Side A: We can’t just shut the nation down for a month. This is crazy. People have bills to pay.
Side B: Everyone is going to be exposed to this. The idea is to slow the spread so emergency services aren’t overwhelmed. The data from China and Italy prove that this is treatable, but only if you have available care. Once the system is overwhelmed, the death rate skyrockets. We’re trying to avoid 3000+ American deaths a day.
Side A: But this is crashing the economy, people will be dying from hunger, crime, missed doctor’s appointments, tooth infection, suicide, and all manner of issues if we don’t get back to work.
Side B: People are going to die if we don’t. If 70% of the nation catches this, and it’s even a low 1% death rate it’s 2,310,000 funerals.
So, who is right?
Welcome to planet Earth, folks. These are the kind of quandaries that Presidents, generals, DHS and FEMA officials, doctors, police, fire fighters, and EMS face everyday. They have to assess the data and make a decision. Right or wrong, they have to make a choice and move forward boldly. And when the smoke clears, someone will point out how they could have done it better, and that person will most likely be right. Mistakes are obvious in retrospect, and criticism is easy when all that’s at stake is one’s Facebook post like count.
We are in uncharted waters right now. This is all new.
It doesn’t matter if you think “your team” would do better in control.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree.
It doesn’t matter if you wish it were different.
It doesn’t matter what opinion you have, or how many virtual pats on the back you get for posting it.
IT DOESN’T MATTER THAT YOU’RE RIGHT!
This is happening – you’d better buckle up for the ride.