by Randy White (Read time: 4 minutes)
I am not a doctor. I am a skeptic. I question the assumptions. I am not always right. I am concerned that our society has rushed headlong into fear, panic, government control, socialism, and financial ruin.
In the past three weeks, our constitution has been shelved, our voice has been silenced by fear, and our economy has been sent toward an almost sure depression (unless we act quickly by all going to work). Of course, this has been done to “flatten the curve.” But will it accomplish this goal, and if it does, will it have been worth the cost?
We could wax eloquent about “you cannot put a cost to human life.” But we do it everyday. Our healthcare system is built upon the medicare system (the big-momma who dictates to doctors what they can and cannot do) and insurance companies (run by businessmen and committees, who tell the doctors what they can and cannot do). We all know someone whose insurance company denied coverage, or a medicare patient who was sent home from the hospital because their Nanny-state allotted time in the hospital had expired. I suggest that we quit speaking with forked tongue about the cost of saving lives and start fixing the healthcare system that is so broken. The starting point to fixing the system is to realize that government (chiefly its bureaucrats) are the ones who broke the system. We need a patient-driven, doctor-run system that is free from government intrusion. A system where a doctor sits with the patient and determines the best care available. An insurance system that isn’t involved in the healthcare decision. That would involve getting insurance out of most routine care. When we have the sniffles, we should pay for that out of pocket, not with expensive and rule-inducing insurance company permission. When we need care, we should demand clear and open pricing so we can shop the market. These changes would go a long way toward fixing the broken system we have.
But back to flattening that curve. We have been told by the Kings and Queens of our governmental system that we have to stay home, stay sheltered, stay away. If we do this, we will not overwhelm the (absurdly messed-up) health-care system. We have not been told what other options might accomplish this goal, nor whether the decreed option will accomplish this goal.
In fact, we have not even asked about other options.
Are there other options that would flatten the curve? For example, what if only the vulnerable populations isolated themselves from potential carriers? Some will doubtless say, “those who do not isolate will take it to the vulnerable!” But isn’t that true with the current situation? Even in the People’s Republic of California, the healthy one in the family goes to the bank to get some cash, the grocery store to get some food, the Post Office to get the mail, and the gas station to get some gas, then he/she goes back home to grandma. When he was at the grocery store, he waited line an excessively long line because the Kings and Queens have turned the supply chain into a fruit-basket turnover, and now “Healthy Joe” is struggling to find toilet paper and a chicken leg to deliver to Grandma–along with whatever else he may have picked up on the journey…even coronavirus. Is this system really keeping the vulnerable healthy? Has anyone thought through this issue? Do we know that forcing restaurants to only serve drive-through, carry-out, and delivery makes food service safer? Is there any science behind this, or is it simply knee-jerk reaction (and in the current situation, one knee-jerked and kicked the next knee which jerked and kicked the next knee that jerked and….)
So now we have a situation in which maybe we will flatten the curve (we don’t know, but our Kings and Queens feel better about it). If it does flatten the curve, our hospitals will not be overwhelmed and we will get back to “normal.” But, even if it does flatten the curve (only time will tell), it has done so at what cost? The US (and world) economy very well may go into depression status (a 10% decline in GDP) in order to possibly flatten the curve. Someone should ask what the options are. Could we have ramped up the construction of temporary hospitals (that would increase GDP rather than decrease it)? Could we have given financial incentives to those who encourage work-from-home? Could we have put an extra tax on restaurants rather than order their closure? Could we have added an international airfare tax to pay for M.A.S.H. type hospitals in urban areas? I am not advocating these, but I am saying that they should be part of the discussion.
Sadly, the discussion from American citizens seems to be, “Yes, your Highness,” which is entirely unAmerican.
Maybe the curve will be flattened. If it is, it is at the cost of millions of jobs, small businesses, and personal wealth. Many of our small retail businesses will close, permanently. Many restaurants will close, permanently. Many travel and tour companies will close, permanently.
But the Government will send you a $1200 check. So it’s all good.
Dr. Randy White is the founder and CEO of the Dispensational Publishing House. He teaches the Bible online at www.RandyWhiteMinistries.org.