Our Brothers' Keepers
Last week, I was alerted to the existence of a website that offers a rather encouraging interactive graph entitled “COVID-19 projections assuming full social distancing through May, 2020.” The graph allows visitors to choose their state and track both the projected decline in deaths and the projected reduction in the disparity between need and availability of hospital beds and ventilators. According to the metrics, which come to us from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, my state, New York, for example, could be down to zero new deaths from the disease by early May and adequate numbers of beds and ventilators even earlier than that.
And that could have been quite a relief . . . were it not for the stipulation. You see, as the site states, these projections are based on full social distancing. That means everyone adheres to all recommended behaviors, avoiding all risk of exposure—no cheating, no exceptions, no crackpot cures, no wishful thinking, and oh dear God we’re all going to die.
We find ourselves in a situation in which other people's decisions will have direct effects on our health. You realize what this means, do you not? It means that at this point, each of us is literally dependent, for our very survival, on our fellow man’s ability to show consideration and good sense. Keep in mind, that means we are now at the mercy of a group that includes:
—spring breakers who frolicked in the midst of a highly contagious epidemic
—churchgoers who continue to gather, believing God will protect them from their own foolhardiness
—people who needed instructions on how to wash their hands
—people who still believe the virus is a hoax
—people who hoarded toilet paper and bottled water
—the people who conceived "The Masked Singer" TV show
—the people who green-lighted "The Masked Singer" TV show
—people who put pineapple on pizza
—people who smoke while pumping gas
—people who don’t know the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re.”
—people who think talking loud helps foreigners understand what they’re saying
—members of the Flat Earth Society
—climate change deniers
—dog owners who don’t pick up after their mutts
—people who claim the moon landing never happened
—people who use little pictures to express how they’re feeling
—people featured in the Jackass films
—and Justin Bieber
They’re all part of the group determining your future and mine. Meanwhile, at the helm is a president who believes that . . .
—people are flushing their toilets too much
—that the U.S. military owns an invisible plane
—and who refuses to wear a face mask
In other words, we’re doomed.
So pull out your puzzles, fire up the TV, stock up on supplies, and get comfortable. It would appear that normal life will be on hold for quite some time. And for the sake of your health, stay far away from the numbskulls with whom we share the planet.