People have gone totally crazy with this Covid stuff. To be fair, some of them were already crazy, but we were blissfully unaware of this trait because we didn’t have to spend that much time with them.
There is an ancient story where a philosopher was shown a straight line drawn in the sand and he was asked to make that line shorter without touching it. He thought for a while and drew another line, a bigger one, next to the original line, thus effectively making it shorter. This anecdote is not as pointless as it seems because I feel Covid is the original line. I made the mistake of placing that line on the sand; because some people will be unwilling to cross it, no matter what.
I am a physician so when we shut down all non-essential work, all my colleagues were cracking the same joke: “We didn’t realize so much of what we do is non-essential.” It would have been funny if it was true. But it isn’t, so it isn’t.
Consider doing a routine, age-appropriate mammogram. Would you call that essential? Urgent? Hardly. And in most instances your prognostication to deem it non-essential would be spot on. But the operative word here is most, not all.
As of this writing, there are 3438 total deaths in India due to Covid. If you combine the daily mortality of just heart disease, what is your estimate regarding the number of days required to match that number? Please don’t read on, just at least think of a number.
Not even a single full day. Just 14 hours. So what we have lost to Covid with all the hoopla, we lose every 14 hours, every day to heart disease. Let me make it little more complex for you. Some of the deaths ascribed to Covid could have been cardiac mortality but because they happened to die being positive for Covid, it would be calculated as such. 5753 people succumb every day to heart disease. (Estimated on 2015 data).
There is a robust discussion underway about the mental/societal ills of the prolonged lock down. The people who are asking you to choose between health and economy may or may not be able to protect you but they will (in my opinion) at least make sure that you die poor. But letting go of the larger argument, I am asking people to choose between Covid health issues and non-Covid health issues.
The protocols for routine health screens/cancer screens/physical exams, mental health checks up, blood work, etc. were all developed for a reason, and we will continue to ignore them at our peril. And no, we cannot wait for the vaccine because even routine vaccination for other diseases has substantially decreased. If you think Covid is contagious, Measles is 10 times worse, and kids are missing Measles vaccine as we read this. When the conquistadors came to the Americas, about 20 million people (95 percent of the native population) died due to infections. It is hard to spin that number; it is probably significant.
If our goal is to stay safe from Covid, we can keep doing or not doing whatever we are doing or not doing, but if your goal is to generally stay safe then we have to engage in the unusual exercise of thinking and counter the Covid data that multiplies faster than the virus, with some common sense, which isn’t as common as we think.