I’ve been thinking about Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” today given the current news. Donald Trump and the Lt. Gov. of Texas think that maybe we should let the coronavirus loose in the world to do what it will so that the economy might not fall into a recession. I wonder what would actually happen if they were to have their way. A whole lot of people would die. That’s for sure. But most of them would be the sick and the elderly. I read somewhere on the interwebs the other day that human life expectancy rose quite a bit after the Spanish Flu back in 1918, and that is most likely because it killed off the weak and sick who would have died younger than the average anyway.
The irony is that the brand of person who thinks this might be a good idea is also the type that doesn’t like talk of evolution. They are big on the whole “survival of the fittest” gag that comes along with capitalism, but aren’t real big on the scientific idea of evolution because it doesn’t fit in with their religious mythology. Would it even actually promote human evolution to let millions die at the hand of a virus we got from bats? (That’s right, President Donnie. You can call it the “Chinese virus” just to be a racist, hateful prick all you want, but it came from bats. So why don’t you call it “the bat virus” instead of the “Chinese virus”?)
Yeah, there would definitely be a “survival of the fittest” aspect to letting the coronavirus run its course without letting the epidemiologists control it. But a lot of the people that would die are people with pre-existing conditions who were either done breeding or were never going to breed anyway. The people that would die would be the ones that crowd churches and Trump rallies when they’ve been told that they should be staying home to slow the disease transmission. They want to save the economy by killing off all their voters.
Like Swift told the poor to sell their children to the rich as food, Trump is telling us to sell out our infirm so we can keep our jobs. What else do we have the military for if not to haul off all the dead bodies from the overcrowded hospitals as hundreds of thousands die in a matter of months? Think of all the money that the government will save on Medicaid, disability payments, Medicare, and social security over the next few years by killing off all these people who are a drag on the system.
“The cure is worse than the disease.” Spoken by idiots who haven’t even listened to the experts about what to expect. Or if they have listened to the experts, have come away with cold hearts and closed minds.
I’m sure there must be a line in there somewhere were the cure really is worse than the disease depending on the cure and on the disease, but jumping to that conclusion so quickly reeks. I’m not quite sure how to describe what it reeks of. I’ve lost my sense of smell to my epilepsy so I don’t think about smells much anymore. It reeks of being a corporate stooge. It reeks of someone who cares more about their 401(k) balance than they do about their neighbor who is on chemotherapy. It reeks of a failure to listen to the facts when they differ with your preconceived notions. It reeks of a lack of humanity.