Sometimes, in the dark of night, I play “What would I do if I were in charge?” It always ends up reminding me that I don’t really have any answers. And it leaves me very glad I’m not in charge.
We’ve chatted on the subject of forced treatment for pandemic diseases before. For people like me with the luxury of treating ethical questions philosophically, it’s a bit of a conundrum. There are no good answers, but inevitably somebody comes along and cuts through the bullshit with bayonets – and then quarantines and forced inoculations occur. Philosophers curse them, but history calls them heroes.
Of course back when the U.S. government was busily trying to eradicate polio and tuberculosis, it had a mighty tool at its disposal: Most people trusted it. People might have argued that Taft could have done better than Eisenhower or something but they generally agreed with what was being done – even if it was being done to them. As Claire points out this morning, those days are gone. But all the same issues are still here, and say hello to the latest gift from Africa. And what now, Kemo Sabe?
If you should find yourself bleeding from the eyes, do me a favor and postpone your visit to the Gulch, okay? Email’s still good.