There's a pandemic I want to tell you about.

This pandemic is sweeping through the world, highly contagious, affects the weak and those with pre-existing conditions much more than those who are strong. It's impacting millions of people in China, although the situation there has been getting better. America is not immune to it, hot-spots exist throughout the country even as most of us something think we will avoid it. The WHO estimates that this pandemic will kill 8 million people this year.

Of course I am not talking about the corona virus or COVID-19.

Last year, I continued my annual tradition of donating one paycheck a year. I somehow missed writing about it so here it is. The list of organizations I donated is fairly similar to the ones in the past years, so I am not going to repeat myself here.

I just got an email from work that we are now strongly recommended to work from home, essentially until further notice. Other than not having the "free" lunch anymore I don't mind it too much. Instead I walk down the street and sit in empty restaurants with more waiters than customers. Not everyone can afford to work from home.

America will be fine. Many people will die, and that's tragic. But as a whole, we will have bail outs, tax rebates, entitlement programs, social safety nets, etc to protect most people. Except those who are already in pretty deep shit, of course. This sudden external shock may just kill them, similar to how the mortality rate of COVID-19 can be as high as 10% for people with certain pre-existing conditions.

We are the lucky ones. In the time you have spent reading this article, dozens of children died from poverty around the world. As we complain about supermarkets running out of toilet papers, millions still don't have access to toilets at home.

That's the pandemic I wanted to tell you about.

by khc on Sun Mar 15 20:52:07 2020 Permlink
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