Coronavirus is the free-market success story of our time

by richardhutton

 

I’m not entirely sanguine about the onset of a disease-laden apocalypse. However, it may serve an instructional purpose, yet.

This is the worst health-crisis in a generation. In fact, if the situation overseas is anything to judge by, it could cause no less than a fraction of the fatalities that austerity has done.

Thanks to decades of private-sector efficiency, however, the nation’s health service is primed.

Instead of ten hospitals, with a thousand beds to care for stricken people – we have one hospital, with coats piled up on the floor. Ready and waiting. This, my gut tells me, is more than sufficient.

Thus is Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister, snatching the cellphone of fortune, from the journalistic hand of infestation.

What Johnson has got right, and other world leaders have got wrong, is turning this crisis into an opportunity.

Unlike the hard-left, with their doctrinaire view that leaving a million people to die is not entirely proper, the Prime Minister takes a more pragmatic approach: let 95% of the population get infected, so the other 5% don’t.

You cannot fault the government’s response, no matter how badly flawed it may be [1].

They have provided a clear and compelling plan of action: ranging from ‘do nothing’, to ‘do something’, to ‘do something else’; and then right back to the beginning. All while maintaining the nation’s morale, by reassuring people that their loved ones will perish.

This scientific-only endeavour is derived entirely from the government’s behavioural insights team.

It entails sophisticated modelling – combining medical and mathematical techniques into one core strategy: encourage people to wash their hands, while singing happy birthday. Then hope for the best.

Also, continue to work throughout the rapidly-spreading epidemic, because they’re afraid to lose employment; and avoid visiting GPs, because they can’t afford to take the time off.

This may lead to thousands of deaths, of course; but from an entirely disinterested economic perspective, is that wholly unwelcome?

It’s survival of the fittest in this world. Or of those with the most to lose, at any rate.

And besides, there’s nothing to stop the recently-deceased undertaking perfectly productive roles in society; despite the absence of registered brain activity, or a pulse.

Be it functioning as draught excluders, or ballast on shipping; or as politicians, and journalists [2].

So, keep calm, and carry on, I say. We’re all in this together. Though, admittedly some people are a little more in it than others.

 

 

 

Notes

[1] Instead of adopting the populist methods of China and South Korea, in putting public health before profit margins, Boris Johnson has applied the grown-up politics of indifference toward mass fatalities. Not unlike the pragmatic approach to our nation’s military sojourns, as it so happens.

Rather than raise awareness of diseases, and ask what causes/prevents them,
perhaps we should just call doctors and researchers ‘illness sympathisers’, or ‘apologists for infirmity’; and conclude that disease is evil – therefore the only way to cure it is by blowing hospitals up.

Anyone who prefers a rationally considered strategy, to an ill-thought-out kneejerk reaction, is not be trusted – and must be condemned by columnists in the Observer, Times, Guardian, BBC, Telegraph, along with the Dailies Mail and Express; until they recant.

 

[2] Some people were aggrieved that the BBC decided to seek Nigel Farage’s opinion on the coronavirus, given that he is not an elected official in any respect – and has no expertise and insight to offer on epidemiology; or any other subject at all, for that matter.

This is entirely the wrong conclusion, however.

I think we’ve all had enough of experts, with their expertise, talking this country down. What this situation requires is a Brexpert, with Brexpertise; taking a patriotic approach to matters.

Foreign pathogens, coming over here and taking the jobs of hardworking British diseases like Flu, and measles? It’s not on.