A Satire on Re-Opening America
I have a plan for those who advocate for loose controls on the spread of disease because we owe it to future generations to die off early to save the economy for our grandkids.
As Texas Lt. Gov Patrick asks my generation, “As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?”
Or, as Dr. Oz argues, the consequences of reopening schools are estimated to be “only” 2-3% mortality. Of children involved or the entirety of society? (Surely Oz doesn’t mean loss of kids at a 2-3% level is acceptable?) However, we can, in fact, through open schools with millions of untested kids, infect lots of senior citizens who are teachers, school staff near retirement or older volunteers, or retirees who drive buses or carpool. All it takes is a few infected kids in each school. And think of the grandparents living with their grands who could contract the virus back at home. Very efficient for this Covid19 creature as we now know! Yes, schools can become a worldwide distributor of current and future viruses that will directly impact seniors willing to take one for the team if we open society without the nuisance and expense of testing.
Senator Kennedy of Louisiana says we must reopen and that we “be prepared” to allow the virus to float as it will among us. He says Americans “get it” that this approach will take lives so “be ready.”
Dr. Phil argues that we don’t shut down the country for car deaths, cigarettes, drunk driving, and drownings in pools. Why then for the Covis19 bug? It is apparently an unnecessary expense. Is he implying that we loosen the expenses associated with seat belts, pollution control, air traffic control, vaccinations to register for school, rabies shots? An ideology he believes in? Not clear as to his beliefs, but think of the money that could be saved as more regulations are eliminated through this ideology. (Dr. Phil, you may not have thought this through.) Our grandkids are potentially getting richer by the day with his line of thinking.
These popular public figures are really making me think! After all, I would die for my family- take a bullet for the grands, if you will. Most seniors would ( I have no science to back this claim up, but the value and expense of science are questionable any way in this climate of thinking). My intuition tells me. So, like Kennedy, let’s say “most Americans” would do so. This has led me to a “THREE TIERED SOCIETY” plan (three tiers are popular these days) — with a special responsibility of seniors to bow out early at minimal expense.
The plan calls for all Americans to be designated one of three “TIERS” of people- and we all wear color-coded armbands to designate our TIER- see below–
TIER 1 – FREE RANGERS
The government reopens all business sectors. Those who find the right tests that report no disease or the presence of antibodies or don’t show virus symptoms are deemed ” ECO’s” and wear green armbands. Hopefully, there is a vaccine soon that certifies permanent virus-free status. ECOs are “free to move about the cabin” so to speak, but must be retested regularly to continue that status. Sounds onerous but remember we retest vision for driver’s licenses and for distemper for our pets. DMVs become the Department of Mobile Viruses in addition to vehicles. Hopefully, everyone who survives the pandemic eventually becomes an ECO either by effective personal management like self-isolation, new treatments, or dumb luck. That is until the next outbreak.
TIER 2 – CAVALIERS
This group is of a laissez-faire mentality by claiming an individual right to get tested or treated or not. They wear red armbands because they could be contagious carriers of viruses. They must wear masks, keep distances, and can only be served in special sections of restaurants, sporting events, places of worship, and drive-throughs. They attend special schools and get degrees through distance learning. They can receive tickets for failure to wear a mask, for example, and pay a special surtax like on cigarettes for the privilege of being CAVALIER. Businesses can choose not to serve them until one of them sues and the Supreme Court can decide the issue of their rights versus those of business.
TIER 3 – GOLD CLUB
All of us who reach age 70 are registered as GOLD CLUB members. (Can join at 62, but the health benefits are less) GOLD CLUBBERS get Medicare and Social Security, as they do now, but at age 75 they can join the GRAND Society. This where the Phils, Dr. Oz’s, Senator Kennedy’s, and Gov. Patrick’s of the world have the opportunity of walking the talk! They sign a public declaration at a community-wide public event- like a good old fashion Fourth of July celebration. Fireworks, marching bands, videos of kids paying homage to seniors. Youngsters thank oldsters for their years of service to the country, assure them they will stay in all our thoughts and prayers. Here’s what the declaration consists of: A Do Not Resuscitate permission, agreement to give up all meds (except Tylenol, Robitussin, Preparation H, adult beverages, and any med that repairs the broken heartbreak of Psoriasis). Morphine is still available for pain management in situations like cancer, of course. We still need to be humane. No 911 response to GOLD CLUBBERS. No GOLD CLUBBER gets any treatment, except repair of broken bones. We oldsters still have to be mobile. Otherwise, our kids will have to wheel us everywhere- an expensive inconvenience at one time or another for most families.
After all, most health care dollars are spent in the last years/months of life. So, we all let nature take its course when we get ill or injured after age 75. THINK OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACT that a lack of treatment can have. Part D savings. Prevention of surgeries. No ER visits, ambulance expenses. How many seniors do Meals-on-Wheels keep from the starving way? And health care for veterans could reduce post-service benefits to a thank you gift of an acre and a mule and access to a Veterans Home when a military member becomes a GOLD CLUB member. This was good enough for our great grandparents returning home from the Civil War. It helped then and can help now.
Taxpayer money can be redirected to kids programs, health research into childhood diseases, genetics to prevent the birth of those of us with genetic defects (the family tree in my clan doesn’t branch much if you know what I mean), college tuition, corporate welfare, executive pay increases, stock buybacks, We can be trickled down on even more and STILL save the economy and American way for life for the grands. Health care stocks would take a big hit, as would government jobs in some sectors. Also, I think an all-volunteer army might be less attractive, so the defense sector may be affected. On the other hand funeral and the remake of movies like “Live and Let Die” would experience a boom, Bible sales would probably skyrocket but most of those are given away. Black market snake oil remedies would fuel a lot of off-book income for many. But this should save expenses related to the completion and management of IRS regulations and tax returns.
The public debate on the passage of the laws to enact the legislation to create society’s next century of tiers would be controversial. In the meantime, we can inch towards it by saving the expense of testing for Covid19, under reimbursing nursing home and home treatment care, allowing price gouging on medicine and underpaying direct care staff throughout the health sector, and not covering pre-existing conditions. The political debate would center on choice or mandate. Maybe a compromise would be the choice for the ECO’s and mandatory for the CAVALIERS. Wonder where Oz, the Gov, and friends would come down on that?!
The election following the THREE TIERED AMERICA SAVE THE CHILDREN ACT would no doubt create a candidate that would adopt a theme with red hats.
M A M A
“Make America Moral Again”
We are truly blessed in America with the brilliance of thought leaders like those above who inspire us all. They are pointing toward to think of new ways to create competition between generations; allow the vulnerable the opportunity die off the grid, with dignity at home; and create a noble way to apply good stewardship to aging-related issues by facilitating sickness and death to balance the country’s budget for our grandchildren… Yes, these guys are geniuses, aren’t they?