The effect of Covid-19
One of the strange things coming out of the Covid-19 situation relates to the increasingly-accepted requirement of wearing masks. It is agreed that this will only marginally protect the individual from catching the virus from another: but it will effect the possibility of one who has the virus spreading it to others. If you are not a purely selfish person then you wear masks for their benefit more than your own.This appears to be the opposite to the advice given in the 1987 by Britain’s Prime Minister: “People must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours”. I trust this is taken a fact, not as a political statement.
Surely if there is one long-term message to gain from this disastrous epidemic it is that society can and will interrelate and that we should accept that our actions in financial as indeed in so many other ways do affect others.
Many of those employed or living on fixed incomes are financially better-off than ever: for they do not have many of the luxurious outgoings they have become used to: fewer restaurants, visits to gyms or sports matches, less motor fuel costs. Many holidays have been cancelled. No window shopping for un-necessary and CO₂-extravagant clothes! Indeed they should must consider if they should be subsidizing those less fortunate: one way or another.
Some countries or hospitals can afford to outbid others to purchase ventilators then yes, they and their immediate colleagues might get over the more serious bouts of Covid-19. As has been pointed out, however, there is a significant probability of many of those with pre-existing pulmonary and similar problems will not. But in so doing they deprive the chance of life of those who could not afford such equipment yet otherwise are young, healthy and living in unpolluted atmospheres.
What is the morality of such action?