As so often in life, for Coronavirus, too a little perspective can go a long way.

Italy has 60 million inhabitants. At an average life expectancy above 80, but one of the oldest populations in the world, you can expect, very approximately, 800k to 1m people dying of old age every year. Many of the – since yesterday, more than 2,000 – victims of the Coronavirus were very old people, to whom the virus gave that last little push into the grave. Sad, of course; but it gives some perspective.

Do you want more perspective? Italy kills, last time I looked, more than 100,000 babies in their mothers’ very womb every year. How is that for perspective?

You can play this game longer: for example, I would love to get official statistics about smoke-related deaths in Italy. I am pretty sure it would make for sobering reading.

More of that: IIRC, the number of death in France attributed to the great heat of Summer 2003 was estimated between 20000 and 30000, of course due to the “harvesting effect” of the heat on the old and sick. The figures might have changed once more accurate data were available; but again, you get my drift…

Yes, we need to apply rules of common prudence and common sense. But it smacks of panic and sheer hysteria to cause grave damage to the world economies in an attempt to reduce the impact of the disease.

In my eyes, the priority now should be the mobilisation of army and industry to create field hospitals and proceed to the production of medicaments and equipment as soon as possible. If this is tackled with the same determination that would be used in war times, it can be done fast. A ventilator is likely no horribly complex technology, and matters of patents etc. can be settled later. In the age of 3d printers and flexible production equipment, this should be doable rather fast.

But the approach of Governments like the British one (no closure of schools, no bans on movements) seems the one most suited to safeguard millions of jobs besides the elderly.

Hong Kong closed schools. Singapore didn’t. There is no evidence the school closure brought any benefits.

Concern, yes. Prudence, yes.

Closing factories everywhere? No.

Posted on March 17, 2020, in Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Agree. The panic is the pandemic and its economic, coronavirus not so much. “It’s the economy stupid.” Go back to work. Old people stay home, as most already do.

  2. There are moral aspects to the management of this pandemic. And what is happening with the deliberate closing of all restaurants, bars, casinos, the restriction of travel and the fear-mongering is immoral. The loss of livelihood to so many families along the supply chains of all in the hospitality/travel/entertainment industries is profound. The ensuing human misery will be remarkable. Homes lost, marriages stressed and broken, children hurt. Yes, perhaps we needed some societal re-set at some level as to what is really important, but what is happening is absurd and chaotic.
    I look at Las Vegas, my town, filled with good, generous, hardworking people and which has just pulled itself up from the brink and I am very saddened. It will be brought to its knees once again. Isolate the old and vulnerable, care for them tenderly if they are struck, but don’t bring the world of healthy, vigorous, sturdy people to a standstill!
    Our Lady of Victory (SSPX parish in Las Vegas), pray for us!

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