Preparedness is routinely about catching up
Recent events have shown part of the picture as it relates to the state of the public “preparedness” campaigns have happened in the midst of a public crisis at a Federal, State, and Local level. The things that the United States could have had ready, but did not (such as masks) created in some instances learn-as-we-go moments at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in King County WA in early 2020. At least that’s what the timeline used to be.
Since that time, the emphasis of the N95 mask production has felt like a chaotic rush both in terms of the level of need, and the nature of the need. For example, in order for businesses to open in WA now, there must be masks on all employess. This creates questions about compliance and also efficacy of the policies that actually get followed. As preparedness across the USA evolves and improves, some important decisions will be made by Governors, Members of Congress, and all of us as Americans.
During the month of November, what public safety measures will America be taking? Of course some of that depends on the net impacts of the riots that have been seen in recent weeks. Each State in America has its own unique coronavirus curve. Cases (asymptomatic) create a very big blindspot in the public numbers. For many months of this year so far, the main worry and concern of businesses across America has been, COVID-19.
What will life be like as an American in 2020? Doesn’t that sound like an essay prompt from 5th Grade to you? Or maybe a better essay prompt for more like 12th Grade? Your guesses about what life would be like might be accurate, if you start to ask the question about 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 … some prefer to ask the longer term question (like what will 2033 be like) as things unfold in a more predictable way over the long tail of history. Through seeking knowledge from those who have endured the struggles of the past (and if it really is your 5th Grade essay, then you better pay attention to the things that your parents have to say about The American Dream now, because 2033 is just around the corner and The American Dream can mean something different to every family in 2020, as we practice patience for the science which will defeat the invisible enemy that is the coronavirus. A dream would be, we defeat the coronavirus and the World gets the cure. But no matter how good the cure may be, bigger scale issues such as world hunger will not cure themselves. In fact, the global economy HAS to reboot, as supply chain issues worldwide are manifesting in new levels of unrest. What will the state of WATER be in 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024? It has been said that the source of the next World Conflict will likely be over water resources. Maybe the primary battlefield will become Outer Space, and maybe world forces will continue to be be focused on Earth. Where will future generations look for water security though? Eventually, Outer Space.
And so, you have to ask the question on your own, mull over what the answer is, and spend some of 2020 writing some of your thoughts down (in an old fashioned journal if practical) and really using your mind and some perspective about hope, to answer the question of what those and future years will be like.
America will be innovating in treatments to COVID-19 including treatments meant to convey immunity to a patient. Additional innovations are being made with an eye on the global market, and domestic production in America will be a prominent area of economic concern for Americans. Domestic production in America might look very different by 2024. In fact, how you answer the question (your prediction) about 2022 says a lot about how you plan to vote in 2020.
So as people plead to keep the virus and politics separate, I will say this – OK! You can probably imagine that a big push for worldwide healthcare transparency is not too far in the future. Stuff like that is going to be necessary going forward, and through people learning what that would even mean, they will begin to ask about it by a name that makes sense to them. Did you know that in King County, the policy on nursing homes has always been, they do not get “ratings” from the hospitals and cannot be “compared” in terms of outcomes by patients as they try to make the selection that is right for them and their families.
As individual approaches to making these choices vary over time, so will outcomes. Having certain types of abuse present in a system such as WA creates a conversation which if left to its own devices, would create a spectacle that would extend the scope of the public AWARENESS beyond its normal level. Headlines such as widespread fraud in mail-in voting, or widespread Employment Security Department (ESD) claims are a thing of the future in WA unless Federal policy comes in and rescues the state from its lists of voters. How about an emergency voting roll call, and the 2020 election isn’t done “by mail” but is, as even Nancy herself has promised, voting “at home”. Let’s endeavor to make the election happen without the use of the voting machines of the past. But would an approach such as that ever actually get adopted? Try not. And for a couple of reasons. Firstly, how would it look if hand sanitizer and masks were used and we gave it our best shot? Teams could be assembled at every polling station to try to reduce the risk to all voters. Voting could be done in new sophisticated ways “in person” and through the use of hand sanitizer and masks, and the effects of “being careful” in each state would yield a unique coronavirus uptick in each State that attempted the feat of in-person voting in November 2020.
Alternatively, and in what sounds like a more definitive election, suppose America votes at home, just like we took the Census at home? To vote in 2020, what ID do you plan to use? Have you been into a DOL lately for an updated photo? What if the census and the election creates an opportunity that America should not pass up – to finally have a Federal ID? I’m not talking about any card that currently exists. No card (for which one use or the other exists) is at all capable of curing the woes our society faces. Many are in favor of decisive action on this. There are also plenty of very valid objections. The last thing we need is a policy rammed through without forethought on this. For that reason, I believe that only an Executive Order will do. I don’t think the current US Congress has the collective imagination or capability to act in the right ways, and I believe that #45 #StableGenius can.