One in Fifty
Which will be worse, the Corona Virus, or the effects of stampeding from it?
We’ve watched with interest at a distance, as China wielded its Government power to mobilise its people in a way no Western Government could hope for, closing off access to entire cities, imposing curfews, building new specialist hospitals in a matter of days.
And yet the illness appears relatively unfazed, it continues, and is now appearing amongst us, spreading throughout our countries in the West.
If we wish to know the difference between how a Government controlled country can respond to a National threat, compared with a market controlled country, we need only look at the effects of Hurricane Maria, on the countries of Puerto Rico, and Cuba, in 2017.
Three thousand people died in the US territory of market controlled Puerto Rico, mostly after the storm, from illnesses due to delays in repairing infrastructure, whilst various utility businesses failed to negotiate profit making deals to put things right. People went without basic utilities for many months. Many didn’t make it.
Cuba, the Castro Government controlled country, which bore the onslaught of the still force 5 storm, a few hours after Puerto Rico, sustained similar initial damage to Puerto Rico, with widespread loss of infrastructure. But in the days that followed, they mobilised the population in the way only a communist country can, to support those in need, fixing the infrastructure without delay. Cuba lost less than ten people in total to the Hurricane, all of whom were killed when the storm struck, by falling buildings, having failed to be evacuated along with the vast majority who were directed to storm shelters.
Mainstream news is at fault for not educating us on those things as they happened.
In any case, we should deduce that however we react to the corona virus, our measures can be nothing like those taken by China, which still haven’t worked.
What seems to be happening in our Western world is that we are panicking, and in danger of becoming paralysed by fear of the illness.
The main danger from this fear, is to our economy, which seems to be reacting very badly.
The effect of panicked markets on the lives of every day people via supply chain disruption is potentially far more hazardous to life than the one in fifty that the illness itself might claim, worst case.
So, as individuals, both rich and poor, in power or not, we need to retain our faith, and stand strong against the panic that appears to be setting in.
We should assume the worst.
One in fifty.
It is like a flu, we only need to be in the same room, breathing the same air as someone with the illness, to catch it.
We admitted long ago that it is almost impossible to halt the spread of things like flu, short of widespread vaccinations, and there appears no vaccination for the corona virus thus far.
We just need to keep that in mind.
We need to eat well, sleep well, exercise, and be ready to do our best to look after those most badly affected, without worrying about whether or not we ourselves will be infected.
To do that, we need our supply chains intact, unaffected by market scares, including stampedes to the shops to stock up.
The food most needed is fresh produce of fruit and veg, the things highest in vitamins for our bodies. Disruption of those things in the face of a virus could be catastrophic. Those things also happen to be the most perishable, with a shelf life of a few days at best. So we must not over-stock, they will only go to waste, whilst others may be in need.
The measures taken by our Governments need to be weighed up against the effects of those measures on the economy, especially supply chains of fresh produce.
Most of all, we mustn’t be panicked by profit driven sensationalist news media, who stand to be one of the only parties likely to profit from panic.
In that, they are themselves the real terrorists.