(TL;DR: High risk groups should remain distanced for longer, others should see restrictions lifted sooner for the benefit of all)
Despite the title, I’m not trying to be satirical here. I’m genuinely looking around at the world and seeing that what we’re doing right now may not be sustainable for much longer — economically, psychologically, or politically.
As the most susceptible to COVID-19 are age 60+ and/or those with pre-existing conditions, I think the time may come that we need to consider that younger, healthier, and able-bodied people should consider a return to work and school on a limited basis, including tight controls around health and sanitation.
This will undoubtedly increase the number of cases, but not necessarily cause a big jump in the number of deaths if we can properly distance the aforementioned group until it’s safer for them. In other words, I’m taking a “limited utilitarian” view of this where we might have to be a little more liberal about an acceptable amounts of casualties.
Just a few points I was brainstorming regarding our parents/grandparents’ age cohort:
- They are the most reliant on the stock market of any group. Their future livelihood and retirement (including health) are being decimated right now.
- Many functions or assistance they might need are being restricted right now.
- Those who are already retired are currently experiencing the least disruption to their daily routine compared to most.
I think we owe it to society as a whole to better balance acute illnesses against overall societal well-being (including the notion that people will also suffer and maybe even die from COVID’s tangential effects, such as reduced wages or depression/suicide). At the moment I think the most pressing issue is not overwhelming the healthcare system, which would have a horrible impact.
I know this is all oversimplified, but I’m just trying to figure out what’s next...we place a very high value on human life in the modern first world, and I don’t envy anyone having to make decisions like this.
Open discussion, I’d love to hear thoughts, rants, ideas, or even some Fight Club references to how to calculate the value of a life....