If They Really Wanted to Save Lives

Covid-19 may be debated for years on a number of levels, but there is one point on which no one — no scientist, no statistician, no philosopher, no policy maker — has ever been in doubt, whatever some of them may have said for the sake of their political vested interests: This pandemic, judged as a mortality risk, is primarily, overwhelmingly, and in historical impact almost exclusively, a pandemic of the elderly. 

Now, if you absolutely, unequivocally knew, from a very early stage of a virus outbreak, the following three things: (1) that this virus was of particular mortal danger only to people in the final years of their natural lifespan and weakened by a lack of mobility and general ill-health, (2) that this virus was at least as contagious through human contact as the ordinary flu, and (3) that as a new virus, its harshest effects would come early on, in those months when everyone was contracting it for the first time — if, I say, you knew all of that within a couple of months of the contagion’s first appearance, then, if you really cared about “public health,” your first and most essential priority would be obvious: Keep old people, especially the weakest of them, out of any group setting where they would be likeliest to come in contact with infected people.

Did the scientists and policy makers know this? Yes — they often said it in the early weeks, before tyranny settled in as the default solution.

Did the world act on this common sense awareness? No. The world — all of it — continued its standard procedure of shoveling the majority of its elderly into group facilities, where they are “cared for” in herd fashion, and thus left more susceptible to infection, late diagnosis, and the despair of under-attentive care, than they would be in any other situation imaginable. 

Why has the world continued to herd its elders into these notorious outbreak factories and lock the doors, when we all know — every damned one of us — that seniors are dying of Covid-19 in these outbreak factories at levels so wildly disproportionate to the rate among those of their age cohort who remain on the outside? I think we all know the reason. Therefore, since some truths are too shameful to be named in polite company, and probably could not be named accurately without resorting to vocabulary I prefer not to use on this website, I will simply let your own rational mind contemplate the ugly reality in silence.

Except to say this: I have had it up to here with people, whether public officials or private sentimentalists, who seek to imprison their neighbors and strip all liberty from their fellow citizens in the name of saving lives, when the single most obvious and least oppressive thing they could have done to actually save lives — indeed, the most liberating thing — was the one thing they have rejected all along, for reasons they will all have to settle with their own divinities when the time comes. 

Specifically, I have had it with those countries that most pride themselves on their caring character, where “care” is essentially a euphemism for socialism — I think especially of my native country, Communist Canada, which has the world’s most revolting ratio of Covid-19 deaths inside versus outside of seniors homes. Yes, Canadians care alright, but only about what’s on TV tonight, and how much beer is in the fridge or marijuana in the bag — and of course about polishing their smugly self-righteous national ego.

Generally, I have had it with a world that has persuaded itself that the elderly are a blight, an obstacle, a nuisance, and therefore — humans are so very clever at this, aren’t they? — reframed its petty material selfishness, its collective dread of death and refusal to look death’s living reality in the face, as a new form of virtue.

If you wonder why Korea, where I live, has gotten through this pandemic with such a tiny death total, compared to most other countries, in spite of being the first epicenter of the disease outside of China, you might begin your investigation by looking at the photo below and thinking about it, long and hard.


Grandmother gardening

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