The Value of Life in a Pandemic
As of the morning of April 23, 2020, 47,992 Americans have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus sweeping across the earth. The first known US death from COVID-19 was on February 6, 2020, so all of the 47,992 died in slightly less than 2 ½ months. In comparison, the 15-year US military death toll in the Vietnam War, from 1961-1975, was 58,220. On April 22nd, my 86-year-old aunt became one of those COVID-19 death statistics.
Over the past several days, we’ve been hearing calls for reopening the government.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said, “There are more important things than living.” when asked about the dangers of reopening the state too early. Indiana Representative Trey Hollingsworth said about the potential loss of life that “it is the lesser of these two evils” in calling for reopening the economy.
In a 25-minute interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman called for opening the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, without offering any plan for social distancing or other safety measures. Instead, she said she offered to use the crowded casinos as a “control group” to test what going back to normal conditions would do to the local coronavirus infection and death rates. When Cooper asked her if she would be on the casino floors each night, showing the world that it was safe, she deflected the question. Once again, as has happened over and over again in history, the rich and powerful are ready to sacrifice other people’s children, parents, siblings, relatives, and friends to protect their fortunes and power.
Mindy Schwartz is a blogger, life-long political activist, pet nutritionist, wife, daughter, DogMom, DemCast California Content Captain, and Jew. She is equally proud of all of those roles.
Disclaimer: I am not paid to promote #DemCast, and Demcast does not pay me to write.