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Ask Rev Dr V. Pickle Langer-Langer, a social/cultural scientist, on Corona Stuff

Dear Reverend Doctor Vincent Pickle Langer-Langer,

Why can’t we eliminate this Corona virus today? Why can’t Trump do more to prevent this? What do I tell my children besides “wash your hands?”

Signed, Upset Parent.

Dear Crazy Person who thinks he or she is just “Upset.”

Lots to answer here. Let me be direct on each point and then expand.

We cannot eliminate the corona virus, at least not today.

Trump cannot prevent nature from running its course, no more than he can actually “do” anything at all.

Telling your kids to wash their hands is a good affirmative start.

The virus is here and a part of nature most of us do not understand, except for the ramifications. Depending on who you talk to, it will either kill us all or just be like the flu, or somewhere in between, with serious consequences for people with immune deficiencies or underlying conditions. No one can predict the future, but we can take reasonable preventive measures.

An airborne human to human virus is unpredictable and generally nasty. If you breath, you can get it, and physical contact with infected people is virtually a guarantee. I am not a scientist or medical authority. I am human and I expect I’ll get this, sooner or later. We can try to prevent, we can try to mitigate, and we can just be prepared. Use common sense, Crazy.

As to Trump, blame him all you want if it makes you feel better. Politically, this is a losing scenario, as the vicious political class will trumpet (no pun intended) a grandparent’s death as being at the hands of rapacious republicans and their designated leader. You can’t control those people any more than you can control the virus.

The best thing that Trump can do is go to work everyday and let the experts inform us and direct appropriate activity. If you need someone in political authority to bring you peace of mind then you probably won’t be convinced by a member of the opposition party. That’s your problem, not mine.

One side issue being bandied about: the administration should have had a plan for more hospital capacity and facilities and that alleged dearth makes it negligence on Trump’s part. Nonsense.

We don’t need more beds. The hospitals are already full of sick people, recovering from accidents, getting dialysis, triple by-passes, having cancer removed surgically, enduring chemo, and a huge variety of procedures that make them vulnerable to … an airborne virus with a long incubation period. Don’t send virus infected people to hospitals.

Of course, we need to care for people sickened by the virus, but the standard treatment is rest, fluids, and some over the counter meds. There’s no logical reason to put them in the hospital pool. Stay home. Only the underlying conditions can be treated at the hospital. It will put everyone at an unnecessary risk.

I probably stand alone in this assessment.

Lastly, as to what to tell your kids. I am guessing that you (and most of their teachers) have hectored them that the world would end in 12 years if climate change was not immediately and dramatically addressed by your enlightened, though draconian and confused, policies. Now it’s 11 years, but let’s not quibble about The End.

Try saying to them; “Well, yes, climate change is Most Serious Of All, but this virus is More Seriouser and all Trumps’ fault, and he has really stolen your childhood this time!” Mumble something about blessing the spirit of Greta, and they’ll lap it up.

I also suggest you tell them the facts and let the experts be your guide, i.e., Dr. Fauci, et al. And go about your business and theirs as best you can. Heed local government and civic rules in a cooperative spirit. Be a good neighbor. If you know a shut-in, ask if they need any food or other essentials. Have faith, and live it.

We will weather this, and like all crises large and small we will come out a little different on the other side. Be the good example.

A little prayer wouldn’t hurt.

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