For what purpose, for what greater good – for protecting wealth or for preserving life?
Lines drawn – in sand or concrete – marking points of difference and distance between what we leave or lose behind, choices that drive and determine what lies ahead.
This pan-global pandemic is neither kinetic nor emotional. But we are.
Numbers escalating daily, dire scientific forecasts startle us, and those graphs scare us more. Most poignantly this week, we’ve all felt a little part of ourselves die, haven’t we, as our ‘life as we knew it’, shifted like quicksand?
We need calm and steady, when calm is called for.
And we need panic, when panic is called for, right?
We need experienced, passionately right-headed and left-leaning doctors and medical experts driving medical and public health decisions. Their choices are hard ones, countless people will perish – consequences of inevitable circumstances. Or will their demise be more so the consequence of flawed or imperfect policy decisions, which put dollars ahead of lives, political capital ahead of human capital?
When political leaders straddle their scare-spectrum, from fostering fear to ignoring reality – are they trivializing tragedy as economic statistics rather than as a human quality worth saving, and is it about politics and power rather than governing benevolently?
I live in Canada; Americans are our intertwined brethren sharing undefended borders, freedom, values, air and water, the largest economic value and most complex trading relationship in the history of the world, and a substantively common language. Still, we seem to have a less equivalent humanity reflected by our political leaders. We share a continent but not a common approach to our common enemy, COVID-19. I believe Trudeau’s process, while wobbly at first, is sound. I’ve been reading a lot, listening to many points of view, and I’ve come to the view Trump’s approach is folly, and the consequences will leave far too many people dead. And, as we’ve all become painfully aware, the virus enemy can cross any border.
Americans worry only about what Trump does. Canadians worry about what Trudeau does, and often worry about what Trump will do even more.
I realize leaders must balance multiple competing values, but saving lives ought to be driven by the same motives as for preventing deaths, because elected leaders of our societies are supposed to serve the needs and values of the governed, not the other way around.
Yes, Mr. Trump, it’s the economy that matters.
The issue is whether it matters most.
P.S.: “It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.” – Sigmund Freud
“New Coke”? A test to make sure we’re not speed-reading?, DP, Calgary, AB
From a biologist from Clevland University - https://youtu.be/fgBla7RepXU - really excellent explanation of why action is required for covid 19... and how pandemics work. This was so interesting and so helpful! Thought you might find it useful as well, SF, Lethbridge, AB