When faced by the threat of a mythical monster, we ask our historians and our priests how we should deal with it. When it comes to a plague, we ask our medical scientists for advice. That’s what our governments did when the Corona raised its horrible head.
Now doctors think in scientific terms and they rarely pronounce unless the numbers are compelling.
Like most husbands accept everything a nurse, midwife or doctor tells them about childbirth, so politicians accept everything medicos tell them about plagues and how to handle them. After all this is about life and death, lots of it.
The medical advice, almost unequivocal, was that citizens keep isolated and to close places where people gather including workplaces. Notwithstanding the cost to the Fiscus, individuals and businesses this was the most effective way to ensure that the most vulnerable were protected. Strong, unquestioned politicians implemented this swiftly and citizens complied with few exceptions.
My thought was a lazy what if? What if the most vulnerable were not especially protected and died? These would mainly be the infirm and the aged – the people who place proportionally higher demands for costly care on society, few of whom are productive. In New Zealand to date, the youngest person to die from the disease is 62.
What if the politicos did the Swedish thing and said to the electorate: This is on you – take appropriate measures to avoid contagion, we are not going to require specific actions.
So maybe quite a few more people than usual die, but the economy is not that badly affected and fewer people are driven to despair by isolation, job loss and fear of penalty for failing to comply.
In my mind and I am close in age to being on the Corovid red list, the latter is the sounder decision. I would go further and suggest the intensive care should only be afforded to under 70 year olds.
I would vote for a politician that made those sort of decisions, but then I have always believed the interests of the majority trump those of the individual.
That is not politic these days!