by Brandon Butler
We Could Have, But 7/27/2020

Jason Kottke, quoting Andy Slavitt on Medium, ‘We Can Eliminate Covid-19 if We Want To’:

But don’t tell me the United States can’t take action if we want to. And we can’t face the families of 150,000 people who didn’t have to die and tell them this had to happen. And I think it’s why our national political leaders won’t go near these families and the grieving process.

The good news — and it is good news — is we are always four to six weeks from being able to do what countries around the world have done.

I know this article is supposed to be hopeful and optimistic, but people have known what to do about Covid-19 since at least March. Instead the United States has not done it and indeed has done mostly the opposite. The “we” that are supposed to decide to lead this effort won’t because they don’t want to put in the work (it’s easier to blame the virus, Democrats, and China), they don’t want to just give money to people to stay home (a huge no-no for Republicans), and they don’t care that much about who is dying (urbanites, low-income, the elderly, people of color).

The simple answer is we could have eliminated this virus back in March: pay people to stay home, shut down everything, close freeways, give everyone medicare, offer temporary debt and rent forgiveness, require masks, and six weeks later: no virus. We could have had a fairly normal summer of movies and theme parks and beaches; instead we absolutely had to go out to bars and hairsalons and in the process allowed 150,000 people to die, and many more will follow. How did the US get to be so egocentric and self-absorbed that we can’t each make a small personal sacrifice for the betterment of our neighbors?