Those of us who live in the modern world are truly blessed considering the adverse impacts of epidemics throughout history. Modern medicine, scientists, the ability to spread information instantly, pharmaceutical research, wealthy governments that can implement financial strategies that aid the citizenry, technology that affords many of us to telecommute, modern banking that gives us access to money even when we can't get to a bank, e-commerce that allows us to order food or wine or dry goods or any number of things we don't need inline to be delivered within days, transportation infrastructure that affords goods to be moved from one geographical area to another almost instantly, freezers and refrigeration that give us the opportunity to stock up on food, doctors and nurses that can get on a plane and provide care where it is needed, the ability for modern industry to shift focus and retool factories to churn out respirators or masks, knowledge of how disease is transmitted and the education of the people that gives them the tools to understand to importance of social distancing. I've provided a link to an article about epidemics throughout history that can provide insights in to our good fortune.
This post is not to diminish the challenges we face as a people, the illnesses, the inability to cure the disease and the fact that many of us will lose people we love. Instead, I mean to put the pandemic in context. Rather than denigrate governments for failing to address the spread of the disease instantaneously, consider celebrating the wonders of modern society that will allow us to limit the devastation that would have occurred in another time and place. There is no magic bullet that will end this. There is no absolutely right answer - how to balance the health and safety of citizens vs. the health of the economy. I prefer to avoid making judgments about these issues because I am not a public health expert, virologist, epidemiologist, or biologist. Just celebrate our blessings that we live in a first world country that has the resources to do what must be done - hopefully without eroding our civil liberties.
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