Ordinary Household Objects: Day 43

Ordinary Household Objects: Nail Clippers

The following started as a comment on Earl’s blog, but I thought I would refine it a bit and share it here.  For Whatever Its Worth, as they say.

I’ve not been a regular viewer of (NY) Governor Cuomo’s briefings, but I have gained a good deal of respect for his candor and leadership.  His state is the epicenter of the virus in this country and New York is fortunate to have him in that position.  I only wish we could say the same of other places in the country.

I don’t remember the exact words, but someone recently described the leadership dilemma – in particular as it pertains to the Coronavirus but also about most other things – as something along the lines of “well-meaning people attempting to make the best choice between difficult options with limited information about something no one knows enough about.”  Close enough – you get the idea.

The question of “how much is a life worth” is a difficult one at best.  The best answer to that question depends on which Pandora’s Box you open first.  Or last.  Answering that one life is “priceless” is commendable, but if that is the case, shouldn’t we be doing everything possible to avoid other preventable deaths?  If so, we should outlaw all dangerous habits and behaviors.  Smoking kills but it is legal.  How about junk food?  Pick your poison.  Personal choice is in another box.  Everyone should be able to determine his or her level of risk and act accordingly, but there are limits to this freedom.  Does your choice to wear or not wear a mask take precedence over my right to not get your germs?  And then the economic costs are huge.  The government programs to help those who have lost their jobs are a drop in the bucket for those who are struggling to pay rent and buy food with no promise of when or if their jobs will return.  And that assumes that the money will go to the right people, which is questionable.

A certain number of people die from many things each year.  The Coronavirus is just one of them.  I’d love to see the amount of time, attention and money being thrown at this virus spent to eliminate all or most of them, but that will never happen.  The trillions of dollars being spent to prop up our economy – at unknown cost to our futures – could be spent on countless other things – ending our dependence on fossil fuels or improving our food supply to get rid of the crap that makes people sick are two examples.  A longer term approach would ultimately save even more lives than this virus will take.  Unfortunately, we are in a world that reacts to the short-term crisis and foists the long-term crisis off on someone else.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to this dilemma.  We each have to make a choice as to which experts we are going to pin our hopes to, hope that we have the right leaders and hope that the decisions they make are the ones that work out the best.  It’s too late to make second guesses or point fingers about what has or hasn’t happened.  But hopefully we can look forward, get through this, and use the lessons we’ve learned to be better prepared for the next time.  I’d like to think that could happen but am just cynical enough to expect that it won’t.

2 thoughts on “Ordinary Household Objects: Day 43”

  1. Well said, my friend. There are no answers, just make the best possible choice, and hopefully not based solely on economics.

    Strange because this post came up on my feeder this morning, almost 2 weeks after you posted it.

    1. I’ve wondered why your comments have been sort of random, and maybe that explains it! Also strange is that once in a while Akismet flags one of your comments as needing moderation. No idea what that’s about. I do know that I had to go back and re-link some of the photos on recent posts, but that was over a week ago. I’d be interested to know what feed reader you use. Not that I’d have any more of an idea why. 😉

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