What is the purpose of mass testing? What we need is mass test RESULTS! But even then, what value is a negative test result taken at noon today which cannot detect infection picked up at eleven o’clock this morning but has not yet developed sufficiently to set off that test? Or, what good is that negative result at noon, when we could be infected at one o’clock on the way home from that negative test result.
Do we test every person every day? Every hour? Before we go to work? At lunch? Before we enter the grocery store, waiting patiently for the results before we shop “safely”?
And when we relax our behavioral responses to the virus as a function of many negative test results, will we be sure that those negative test results mean that the person tested is not only free of the potential danger of infection but cannot spread the infection that does no harm to them?
I have heard a number of … persons make the argument that in order to protect our economy, we should be willing to accept a few flare-ups of the disease, a few sickened persons, a few deaths. They have even said that “they” have had a good life, and are ready to pack it in for the good of those coming up. I suppose they mean us oldsters when they say that. I wonder if those older persons, (like me for instance) that they are willing to sacrifice are their spouses, their siblings, perhaps even their older children, or are those oldsters just some other faceless people they do not know.
What can we call those who are so actively willing to trade a few lives (unknown to them, no doubt) for a good economy? To use a term they might like, what about Economic Realists? But just as we seldom find any atheists in foxholes under artillery fire, I wonder how many Economic Realists will voice their philosophy when their loved ones are in the Intensive Care Unit on ventilators?
And what of the businessperson, who has never been bothered to set aside a few bucks to help during a time of cash-flow reduction, now harping loudly that our freedoms are being stoeln? The owners that open their businesses widely during a pandemic, putting their health and the health of their employees at risk – and the health and perhaps the lives of their customers? Do these business owners even consider their reputations after the pandemic has run its course or are their customers merely expendable amnesic cash cows necessary to their success?
Do we customers share responsibility? We surely do! Do we continue to self-protect regardless of what “good news” we hear? Do we deeply moderate our previous purchasing behavior and listen to those who know what it happening? Do we wildly rush to follow some crowd, trusting that it knows more than those recommending caution? It is up to us; I have not seen any guards forcing any sort of compliance of any sort anywhere.
There are plenty of problems, some extremely sobering, associated with the voluntary shut-down most of us have experienced, personal distancing that has been suggested, stay-at-home, “requirements” that are unenforceable. All are to some degree or another inconvenient, like not visiting our friends, all the way to not attending a funeral of a loved and respected person. There is very little upside to what we are all going through with Covid-19.
Sickness and death doesn’t have much of an upside either.