Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A thought for today based off of two days ago's thought

I heard a Duke University professor give this analogy in reference to the chaos regarding the current frenzied stockpile of antibiotics to fight "swine flu".

He told this story:

Imagine that you go out to buy a suit. You're really excited about this suit, and you go all out. You buy all the accessories, from the socks to the cuff links. You spend upwards of $1,000 on this outfit, and wear it out of the store to show it off. As you are walking across a bridge, you look down and see a man drowning. You don't have time to take your nice clothes off, but you don't hesitate and jump in the water to save the man's life, without even thinking of your clothes, even though they're going to be ruined.

So often we get to an emergency situation and spend without question. When confronted with need, we work something out to meet that need. What if, instead of having a $1,000 suit ruined to avert a tragedy, we wore simple clothes and built a guard rail? What if, instead of spending billions in a moment of panic to fight this specialized flu, we were spending a few dollars a day to wipe out malaria and TB and leprosy and cancer and diabetes? We could save millions of lives a bit at a time or wait until the tragedy is unavoidably present and spend lavishly. I wish we, as a culture and as individuals, were better at planning long-term and being consistently generous and preferring others.

(Also, I think it's weird that some of our blog post labels include Ace of Base, ice cream, and the Yukon. Sounds like the cards you might have in Apples to Apples.)


karyn said...

I vote yes to this blog.

Isn't it funny how we are apathetic, then panic, and how relevant this is to the economic panic, and how it really does all seem to come down to "more bricks, more bricks, more bricks" (and more antibiotics!)

If I say much more, it will only get me started on my anti-media rant, and I've officially hit my anti-media rant capacity for the week. Bottom line, we're ridiculous. We, as a society, are completely ridiculous. We need a Savior.

You should know, however, that this post will probably not keep me from making my "I Survived the Deadly Swine Flu" t-shirt. As soon as they let me back out in public.

Leisha said...

Shouldn't you prove that you survived it first? ; )

thatoneguy said...

I don't think antibiotics even work at all for the flu, since it's a virus. But I guess if you're going to be ridiculous, you might as well go all out.

Speaking of long-term planning, what about the economy, the environment, and New Orleans? Yep, you'd think we would learn...

thatoneguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thatoneguy said...

(I almost tagged "The letter K" in my last post)