COVID has revealed deficiencies on so many levels food desserts, healthcare disparities, wealth divide, just how much on the edge so many people were prior to disaster. Unlike the 24/7 news service I will point out COVID related issues but propose solutions also.
RONA is no joke and has revealed like the meanest magician ever a failure of government, screwy national values, wealth inequality, food deserts and a flawed healthcare system. Our leaders are ill equipped to lead. Our governments ineptitude has seemingly crossed along party lines. Top down, conflicting messages, scare tactics, sketch, and unreliable data. Increase in rates of infection and death to Vietnam War levels, as of Sunday, May 10th a dashboard created at John Hopkins 1, 311, 923 confirmed infections with 78, 855 deaths.
I simply cannot accept this is our reality, but it is. As an American state’s rights and individual freedoms are highly prized and deeply entrenched in American culture even at the expense of good sense. It will make seemingly smart rational people march on state governments and demand reopening the economy at gunpoint contrary to obvious data. Our individuality with lack of effective leadership is what will kill us, straight up. Freedom without discipline will result in a whole mob of spoiled sociopathic babies having temper tantrums on social media or the news, reality stars and our current administration included, but I digress…
If our leadership wasn’t so xenophobic, we could look to nations such as South Korea, Germany, and Australia on a combination of actions that has flattened and stomp down the curve of the RONA scourge. All these governments have done very similar things. But South Korea gets major kudos for its efforts to contain the outbreak. The response is not without its flaws, but its response is distinct in several respects.
Early: An early and almost immediate response after the first case on January 20.
Speed: A premium on moving as quickly as possible in setting up a testing regime. Germany increased its testing capacity by thinking outside of the box. Through timely development and approval of a functioning diagnostic test-increasing capacity even places for vet med and research facilities. Schools of human and veterinary medicine testing facilities in this country could be used as well as the testing facilities I am sure for the Kentucky Derby or horse racing as well. Also utilizing 3D technology and nationalizing manufacturing needed across the board.
Transparency: Real-time and frequent information dissemination to the public. All of the countries, frequent dissemination of information and public resources, heightened border control, and meticulous contact mapping through patient questionnaires and GPS-based mobile applications, South Korea’s efforts to “flatten the curve” are seemingly working. In the US, privacy concerns about the tracker apps should be second place in this time of extraordinary circumstances.
Public-Private sector: Enlisting companies with needed resources in a private-public sector response, without cronyism or to boost revenue for “Chump” industries.
National organization: Organized as a national effort rather than at the city, provincial, or local levels. This doesn’t mean saying I control everything and when the state’s answer to the contrary you back down. The government issues policy, that the leaders do not follow and the state’s thumb their nose at it with the exception of NY, Jersey, Maryland, and California.
So, the cliff notes for leaders is the following: focus on PPE shortages and getting it to the people that need it, safe treatments not untested voodoo, widespread reliable testing, getting a safe vaccine to market. There is a myth currently circulating that the US government is working to steal or pay a German pharmaceutical company to develop a vaccine that will only be used in the US, that maybe not so far-fetched, but we do have a shelved vaccine that has been sitting in a lab in Texas since the SARS epidemic, so why do we need to steal?
Our hope rests in having people in leadership, smart and willing to do the right thing. Leadership that garners trust and perpetuates and inspires hope. Leaders can do so by not bullying people to lie nor do they have to encourage violence. I think we can be hopeful without being delusional. The pandemic is real, we have shortages, and individual needs are not being met, housing, food, clean water. We should not let people risk their lives to serve us nor should we let people put vulnerable people at risk for the all mighty dollar. To get control of this chaos we need and should demand a coordinated, whole–government, whole–nation action. I know, baby steps. So, the political rhetoric needs to stop and decisive action is needed.
POLITICIAN ALERT: This is your focus ubiquitous PPE, testing, safe treatment, and safe vaccine. You control a pandemic by no spread and no deaths. Simple. So, let’s get busy!