Very interesting to see that social distancing still favors the wealthy. Going to catch some heat for this post. Reading the Wall Street Journal article on prior generations experiencing pandemics as a routine part of life leaving them better prepared (less anxiety, fear, and panic) than we are now. Discussion about The Colera epidemic effecting New York in 1870 where one option was to “run like hell”. I found the Discussion regarding the “well filled stage coach” leaving town and distancing themselves from the epidemic. The vast majority of Cholera- related deaths Involved the indigent Irish population in the slums of New York.
Now We find ourselves dealing with the pandemic of COVID-19. Containing the spread of disease necessitates social distancing. Unfortunately, decisions by governmental authorities of past and present regarding how we deal with the “ impoverished “ population limits the effective implementation of social distancing. . Those that are more dependent on government are the ones that are least likely to be able to comply with social distancing. The school lunch programs, the often crowded low income housing, and the dumbing down of our educational process inadvertently created barriers to effective pandemic management.
I recently read an article about safety net programs “lifting” an entire demographic out of poverty. In reality, these programs trap that same demographic. Creation of a population dependent on government programs does nothing except to aleviate the social and moral responsibilities of families to their loved ones ( the elderly population), create a road for irresponsible family planning, and hinder the development of the human capital desperately needed for our future, among others.
So now a pandemic will be prolonged, more people will die, economic conditions will deteriorate more rapidly and recover more slowly, and the very population government is meant to protect ( in this case, the elderly) will suffer the most.
Perhaps, we will learn, less reliance on the government in our lives leaves us better prepared to respond to societal crises.