Sacrificing people for profit? nothing new. Read yesterday that one analyst at Stanford calculates the lockdown in China has saved a number of lives comparable to those the virus has taken — because the lockdown briefly but drastically reduced the air pollution that kills about 7 million people worldwide every year. “Burke calculated that the two months of cleaner air resulting from the coronavirus restrictions has saved the lives of between 1,400 and 4,000 children under 5, and 51,700 to 73,000 adults over 70 in China.”
I am sitting in my self-isolation (and relative safety thanks to my location, generation, and class privilege) with a kind of smouldering anger… because I witness the coordinated, drastic, dramatic, even draconian response of world governments to the coronavirus threat — when same governments have consistently done nothing about air quality, nothing about water quality (800–900K premature deaths per year), nothing about climate change (potential for many millions of deaths and billions displaced). The answer has always been “it costs too much,” “we have to protect the economy,” and so on. But now all of a sudden it’s acceptable to crash the stock markets, ground the planes, close businesses… now “the economy” can take a hit because there’s an Emergency?
When hasn’t there been an emergency?
So those people outrageously suggesting that old people should be allowed to die so we can get “the economy” going again are just being consistent with what they have said and done all along: in order to support their profit-seeking, large numbers of people die every month, every year, and that’s OK with them and always has been. Why are we only shocked now, and not yesterday and the day before that and the year before that? Because now it’s happening here and now in the Anglosphere, to pale-skinned people, not somewhere far away where people are browner and poorer?