If the Coronavirus teaches us anything, it is that we know how to induce change when we must. A realization that gives me hope for the future.
We can shut down our borders at a moment’s notice and instantly deploy quarantine measures without much legal basis. We suddenly all understand that the pursuit of individual freedom must be curtailed for the sake of our collective well-being and freedom. A topic I described on this blog frequently when introducing the definition of freedom in our constitution left so blissfully undefined.
Freedom, to each his own, can only exist when it is bound by our collective interests and thus trust in freedom. Read up on the paradox of freedom and its importance in creating renewable societies, not the main subject of this article.
A fascinating part of our ability to change is our speed. Within a few days after the facts roll in, we jump into action and throw caution against the wind to implement change. Which begs the question, why do we not respond the same way when it comes to reducing how we soil the planet or how we build systems that fundamentally narrow the standard deviation of merit assigned to all people on this planet?
We refuse to address the issues for which ample exculpatory evidence is available, and the adverse effects keep poisoning humanity daily. Worse, I would venture to say, than the impact of a pandemic with a very low death rate.
If you think I am overreacting, let me remind you again of the effects of manmade pandemics.
Over one billion people on this planet have no access to fresh drinking water, killing over nine million kids every year before the age of five.
At home in the U.S., an artificial assignment of merit, instituted by our stale and evolutionary incompatible systems of capitalism, traps 15.8% of the population in extreme poverty and enslaves 60% of us to a job that pays no more than $40K, given the standard of living wholly insufficient to buy healthy food, take care of a family, or pay medical bills. A predicament that currently leaves 240 million, 70% of Americans, walking dead with a depressed immune system chronically dependent on prescription drugs, many antidepressants, delicately balancing a knife-edge of survival and indebtedness.
The planes have never been cleaner, so says the crew proudly. The Ritz-Carlton, from where I am writing this, has been cleaned and “bombed” of germs top-to-bottom. My favorite french bakery in New York City, the Maison Kayser chain with many locations in the city, closed. The NYC subways are finally getting cleaned. Apple closed all its stores, vowing to continue paying its employees. How noble.
Extraordinary measures are being taken to clean up our act and deal with the newfound threats facing humanity. The public sector and the private sector, all of us, are working together to minimize the threat.
Now, let us apply the same response to manmade pandemics that have already proven to kill way more of us. Better yet, get the vaccine.