During World War II, one could imagine the generals gathered in a bunker planning their next attack. The questions always included “what is the expected casualty loss.”
Then the top general would have to make the horrendous decision as to whether that loss was acceptable. Today, we are in the midst of a different kind of war, but a war nonetheless. The casualties are both in human life and economic loss. We are now coming to understand that our top general, POTUS, in his White House bunker made the economy his top priority. Based on mortality rates he figured we would lose 1-2 million people if we took no precautions, but the economy would be preserved. Yes, the hospitals would be overrun, but he figured the losses would mostly be the elderly and sickly. The humanitarians, led by Fauci, did what they could to stem the loss of human life but the end result is somewhere in the middle.
POTUS will undoubtedly point to the unemployment rate and the long lines for food as being the result of not following his direction. In his mind, the economy trumped human life. And I guess if it’s not you, your family or your friends dying alone in a hospital ICU bed this thinking may seem rational. Fortunately, the vaccines are arriving but many more will die before this war is over. This will not be the last such war we will have to fight. The question is will we learn from how we mishandled this pandemic? Will we establish priorities and will the preservation of human life rise to the top? Will we be willing to put aside our individual freedoms for the good of the collective? Will politicians value human life more than their political careers? Hopefully, we will not have to find out too soon.