πŸ“‘ Cancel Everything

Bookmarked Cancel Everything (The Atlantic)

The responsibility for social distancing now falls on decision makers at every level of society.

Do you head a sports team? Play your games in front of an empty stadium.

Are you organizing a conference? Postpone it until the fall.

Do you run a business? Tell your employees to work from home.

Are you the principal of a school or the president of a university? Move classes online before your students get sick and infect their frail relatives.

Are you running a presidential campaign? Cancel all rallies right now.

Yascha Mounk discusses why we must embrace social distancing as a means of collectively responding to the current crisis. He provides three facts to support this:

  • At least in the initial stages, documented cases of COVID-19 seem to increase in exponential fashion.
  • This disease is deadlier than the flu, to which the honestly ill-informed and the wantonly irresponsible insist on comparing it.
  • So far only one measure has been effective against the coronavirus: extreme social distancing.

In another piece, Mounk paints a picture of the challenges faced in Italy as the numbers of those requiring care drastically increase.

There are now simply too many patients for each one of them to receive adequate care. Doctors and nurses are unable to tend to everybody. They lack machines to ventilate all those gasping for air.

Now the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI) has published guidelines for the criteria that doctors and nurses should follow in these extraordinary circumstances. The document begins by likening the moral choices facing Italian doctors to the forms of wartime triage that are required in the field of β€œcatastrophe medicine.” Instead of providing intensive care to all patients who need it, its authors suggest, it may become necessary to follow β€œthe most widely shared criteria regarding distributive justice and the appropriate allocation of limited health resources.”

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