quinta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2020

Version 2.206

Some of my friends in Portugal have reached out to me concerned about my well-being. Nothing in my life has changed significantly because I have been social distancing, working from home, and limiting my outings since March 19. I did travel during the summer for a few days, but I had very limited contact with people and I always wore a mask. Furthermore, I have only eaten outside of home three times since March.

The only calculated risk that I have taken is that I had surgery in July and I have had several medical appointments, including at the dentist. Still, I feel the risk of being exposed to the virus is minimal. My goal is not to eliminate my exposure completely, but if I am exposed, I want the viral load to be small enough that it does not overwhelm my immune system.

I see a lot of people complaining about everything that they cannot do, but I am, for the most part, grateful for everything in my life. I am grateful that my job allows me to work from home and that I live in a city that takes risk seriously and works hard to keep me and other citizens safe. The authorities have to set the tone and step up to the plate because not everyone understands risk. But I also have to take responsibility for my own safety and the safety of the few people with whom I still interact.

Nevertheless, I am angry that there are people who do not take this threat seriously and especially angry at people in power who fly by the seat of their pants. With the amount of money that is spent on education and science research, there is absolutely no excuse for authorities to remain ignorant of what the scientific community says. Of course, not everyone in the scientific community is conservative about risk or even capable of doing cost-benefit analysis, but the majority gave us good advice.

Although the virus is opportunistic, many of the bad things that have happened did not have to happen. It was our unwillingness to prepare and our own perceived invincibility that contributed to the problem. How many times did we have the opportunity to prepare and, instead, chose to squander resources? None of this was unpredictable or even inevitable. We, humans, made the poor decisions that have brought us to this point. And we will continue to pay in human lives for those mistakes until this is over.

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