Are We Doing What Needs to Be Done?

Amid the current crisis, we do need to look at some positive sign. People are recovering. We can see this in the following graph. This is encouraging yet we know that we must still take action. Unfortunately, the question, "Are we doing what needs to be done", remains challenging especially for our leaders. Of course, there are actions that are obviously urgent. These include providing protection to our health workers. They need masks and disinfectants now, and not tomorrow. Hospitals need supplies likewise at this moment, and not in the future. These are the actions that are needed now, yet, what our leaders, it seems to me, are currently faster in achieving, is giving orders that place a substantial pause in our daily lives.

Above copied from

Just a couple of hours ago, the governor of Virginia has ordered schools to be closed until the end of the academic year. The school board of Fairfax county is scheduled to meet soon, I guess, to figure what can be done for learning continuity. Without universal access, the board needs to ensure that there is equity in online learning. Not every child enrolled in a public school has access to a laptop, and not every household has access to the internet. Of course, working parents are now facing the need for child care for the next three months. These parents may be working in our groceries, restaurants that offer take-out, hospitals, gas stations, and other establishments that remain open. It is likewise clear that most schools are not ready to deliver lessons online. Lastly, online learning cannot really replace the building and nurturing of relationships between a teacher and his or her students, and among the students themselves.

School closures are aimed to mitigate the crisis. Sadly, what we need to address directly is still left unanswered.

Above copied from the
New York Times

At this point, it maybe worthwhile to consider a point of view that lies outside what is currently dominant. This viewpoint is illustrated in an opinion written by David Katz:

Above copied from the
New York Times

If you do not have time to read the entire article, or if you do not have access the New York Times, the following is an excerpt:

I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself. The stock market will bounce back in time, but many businesses never will. The unemployment, impoverishment and despair likely to result will be public health scourges of the first order.
Worse, I fear our efforts will do little to contain the virus, because we have a resource-constrained, fragmented, perennially underfunded public health system. Distributing such limited resources so widely, so shallowly and so haphazardly is a formula for failure. How certain are you of the best ways to protect your most vulnerable loved ones? How readily can you get tested?


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