The unacceptable answer

The doctor has no treatment for Magical Thinking
The author reading from this text

The White House reacted to Doctor Fauci’s testimony to congress by saying his answer was “not acceptable”. That’s a little glimpse into the mind of our head of state. Not acceptable. I agree. Reality is not acceptable anymore either. It follows then that accurate scientific observation regarding reality is also, not acceptable. Dr Fauci’s statement suggested that opening up the economy and society too quickly and without enforced health protocols would cost lives. If there is any doubt of that we need only wait a few months. Even if the White House succeeds in suppressing the numbers from CDC, they will still be bad. An under count, as always. China is accused of suppressing the bad news too. A tradition with authoritarian regimes. This way of thinking in the White House, in Trump’s base, astonishes me. Its incredible that so many people can see what they are told to see. What they want to see. I’ve thought that they’d adjust to the real when people around them start dropping. I’m not sure even that will shock them into reset.

This magical thinking might be their default mode. Doctor Fauci respects the physician’s credo, “to abstain from doing harm”. Those who hold public office should follow a similar rule. Doing nothing (re: CV19) would be a vast improvement in Washington. The good doctor is literally speaking truth to power…and power does not appreciate it. There must be a lively pool betting on how long Fauci will last at the White House. He is mostly window dressing anyway, An expert on the stage, seeming to give weight to the idiot in chief’s inane statements. Fauci does not make the decision ultimately. He gives informed opinion regarding the epidemiology, the spread of CV19. If elected leaders say the society must reopen, in spite of the resultant deaths, that’s a judgement. Obviously things must start moving again. It is not either or, not the binary Trumpistas love.

It has nuance, shades of grey, detail. That’s not acceptable either! Choice must be reduced to one, as it is in China, as it is in Putin’s Russia. The mark of a totalitarian state, limiting information, limiting choice. The White House with one hand says open up safely and with the other it encourages disregard for health guidance. A doctor fired for speaking truth to power has testified that we could be in for a horrendous fall and winter. That the spread of the virus, accelerated by an undisciplined restart, will ramp up. Of course it will. Will 2+2=4 in the fall, as it does now? I’m sure it will. The virus will spread with the same certainty. A math function not subject to our desire, fear or hope. The variable we do control is R zero, The basic reproductive ratio of a virus. We totally control that, but…getting it to zero would mean zero social contact…not possible.

We need a balance, not the absolute of magical thinking. This virus shines a spotlight on that aspect of human behavior. Half of the population, sometimes more, sometimes less, exhibits this “magical thinking”. The “leadership” we have today, and its decisions, are the result of this behavior’s effect in the last presidential election. Let me throw out a scrap of meat to the people who voted for Trump…the only other choice wasn’t too good either. Just those two? WTF? Out of three hundred million citizens we choose between those two? The CV19 crisis would still be with us now had Hillary been elected. The gun totting zelots would still be guarding tatu parlors in Texas. The death count would not be much lower. No administration of any political stripe would be able to do what would be needed to push the numbers to zero. In China they couldn’t manage that. I wonder if it’s at all useful to mull these details, these crumbs of information and observation. Makes more sense to wait for the end game in 18 to 24 months. Better to wait for what happens and be informed by reality. Oh, the virus will win, there has never been the possibility it would’t. It will not go away. Sadly, many of us will be gone when the dust settles.

Published by glensketch

Retired from electronics industry. Ex USN ex USAF ex expat in Ecuador.

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