I saw this letter to the editor the other day and have now come to agree with how important the efforts being made to protect us are. Social isolation must be absolute, no exceptions, and must last until the Corona Virus is completely eradicated, not just here but across the world. This was the letter which I found completely compelling.
My partner and I are around 70 but due to recent health issues and underlying conditions we are in a very high risk category, to the extent that I am not prepared to risk experimenting with life as usual. Can I say that neither of us is a vegetable in a nursing home. We have lives and plans, are active with our friends, we travel and have children and grandchildren. We have many years to enjoy.
A look around the world highlights that Australia is better off than some mainly because of the tough measures we have taken, not in spite of them. To suggest the extent of the battle is to isolate the vulnerable while the rest of you go about your business is short-sighted. As a member of the vulnerable let me say I’m not prepared to take one for the team.
He describes my own situation perfectly and what else is there to say? We vulnerable members of the community are not prepared to accept such selfishness from the rest of you, from all of those younger people who wish to get on with their lives, earn an income, save for the future, pay off their mortgages and continue meeting up with their friends and relations. Do they not understand that this will put people such as myself at much greater risk? Already so many American having died from the Corona Virus. If present trends continue, this number might well rise to well over one million, but at least it won’t be the two million some have predicted.
With GDP in the US around $20 trillion, the loss of 10 percent of our economic growth for the coming year is a mere $2 trillion, although the actual number may, of course, be even higher. But sticking with the $2 trillion figure, the cost of preserving that additional 100,000 from an early death – we are up to around 25,000 at the moment – will come at a cost of only $20 million dollars for each life saved.
Of course, even to think of money saved at a time like this is an ethical abomination.
The country has made a moral commitment to preserve lives at all cost. With my own life in such danger, along with the lives of all of our friends who are in that same boat, it would be an eternal disgrace for the country to choose to abandon us to the possibility of an early demise, or if not exactly early, to a demise sooner than might otherwise have occurred.
Good for Dr Fausi and Dr Birx who have shown such leadership in ensuring that every life is seen as precious.
And just to be sure we are all on the same page, this is my own version of Swift’s A Modest Proposal which also wasn’t meant to be taken literally. The sad part of the times in which we live is that this even needs to be said. But what is not satirical are the numbers which are very real indeed.