I’m puzzled by this article. I’m unclear, given the current state of biomedical knowledge, how we can “save” the old and the sick. To the best of my understanding, we all die in the end. The old and the sick are generally rather closer to the end of their lives than the young and middle-aged, despite the atrocious lifestyle choices made by so many today. So as no one can really “save” the old and the sick, we seem instead to be talking about looking for ways to prevent them from dying weeks or even months earlier than they otherwise would. To that end, apparently, we should (according to the arguments presented in this astonishingly obtuse article) be perfectly happy to shut down the global economy and thereby throw hundreds of millions of people in developing nations into penury, food insecurity, and homelessness. Which will, inevitably, result in a great many deaths; likely far more than will be caused by the not-very-lethal coronavirus, from which around 97% of the population recovers without problem.

Now of course we don’t mind that we’re throwing hundreds of millions of people into the most abject poverty, because for the most part these people have dark skins and live in faraway places. Our Western media outlets don’t report on their situations so we can remain happily ignorant about the horrors we’re inflicting on them in the name of “saving” some of our very old and very sick citizens. So what we’re really saying is that Western lives matter more than the lives of those unfortunately enough to have been born elsewhere.

It’s difficult for me to see how this can be either (i) intellectually coherent, or (ii) a moral position for anyone to adopt.

But perhaps I’m at a disadvantage because I don’t expose myself to media-driven sensationalism and thus haven’t succumbed to the current mass hysteria and mindless panic. Which is why I remain appalled by the ease with which spoiled, ignorant, and pampered Westerners are inflicting uncountable harms on those least able to withstand such privations, all under the absurd claim that we’re “saving” the lives of those who are about to die anyway.

And no, this is not “heartless.” It is simply a recognition of reality. Which, I admit, is apparently beyond the cognitive capacity of a great many during these hysterical days.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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