A lot is made by government of the “need to balance” the needs of the economy with the needs of public health. The “tough choices” of shutting down leisure facilities, shops and services, a sacrifice of wealth for the good of health. And sometimes the opposite, seeing necessity to keep supermarkets open despite the obvious risks to health.
But does it really have to be a choice between these two things, as if they are seperate issues, mutually exclusive to each other?
Is health really its own issue, and wealth its own issue, competing against each other for success?
The dead don't spend.
I don’t think so. It seems so glaringly obvious to me, that dead people can’t spend money, nor can people lying in hospital. Nor are anxious relatives of pandemic victims likely to spend money or even care whether shops are open. One wonders why the obsession with “balancing” the economy against health, when in reality health is a core part of the economy itself. It is in the interests of any economy to keep people alive. The dead don’t spend.
Can we rethink this now, perhaps? Can we stop pretending that health and the economy are two opposing forces and accept that we need people to be healthy to participate in spending, saving and working – and that we also need the economy to keep people safe while they spend and work. These are not seperate issues, they are two parts of one issue. The economy is another victim of pandemics and needs to be treated appropriately. To cure people is to cure the economy. We share a symbiotic existence.
I will continue to get annoyed when people talk of these two things as opposing forces. They are not.