Stay at home. Save Lives.

Roughly 1.35 million human beings lose their lives in car accidents each year, including 38,000 in the U.S. alone. That’s 3,700 automotive deaths worldwide per day

“Well, that’s life,” you say. “They knew the risks.” 

First of all, no they did not know the risks; for while we all hear the occasional local news story about a fatal accident involving drunken teens on graduation night, the news media has not been sufficiently responsible and diligent on this issue. If each road death in your country, or better yet in the world, was reported in bold red headlines by every news outlet and social media platform on Earth, every single day, then people might understand the risks.

In fact, if the day’s tally of road accidents and deaths were the lead story, or indeed almost the only story, on every news network’s round-the-clock programming, and every news website’s homepage; and furthermore, if governments around the world were highlighting these daily tallies in live press conferences in peak viewing hours, with national leaders and their immediate seconds-in-command personally presenting the traffic accident numbers as the most urgent global priority, while whole election years were being defined by the debate over the government’s response to traffic fatalities — then, I say, we could properly say that the public understood the risks.

And when I say understood the risks, I mean “felt so assaulted by constant reports of road deaths that they started to feel that traffic accidents were the world’s leading, or perhaps only, cause of death, and that willingly getting into an automobile, let alone starting its engine, was rationally equivalent to voluntarily drinking sulfuric acid, and morally equivalent to detonating a nuclear device in the town square at lunchtime.”

Then, I say, they would truly understand — i.e., would have been persuaded by the information equivalent of saturation bombing — that traffic accidents are the only issue that matters in life, reducing road deaths the only reasonable concern of good government, and driving a car for any reason tantamount to committing both murder and suicide.

And then it would be just a matter of time — perhaps two or three weeks — before you could finally start to make a dent in these terrifying fatality numbers by doing something about the problem. 

My suggestion: a universal, permanent stay-at-home order, accompanied by a government edict forcing all factories to be reconstituted as automobile disassembly and demolition centers. As long as there is one car out there, or one person tempted to hop into one and start the engine, the human race will be living under a shadow of death and fear. End cars now! And reinforce this noble act of collective survival by decreeing that going outside, where the temptation to find and use a car is greatest, is a shameful and immoral act, a hate crime against one’s community, and a hypothetical threat to every other man, woman, and child on Earth — particularly to the elderly, who walk slower than others, and are therefore more likely to be hit by motor vehicles.

Exploit social media and every government megaphone to carry forth the message: “Stay at home. Save lives.”

Social distancing forever!

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