Sunday, September 6, 2020

"If it saves even ONE life..."

Mrs ERJ had lunch with one of her friends and the friend uttered "...if it saves even one life" to rationalize why shutting down the economy was a needed thing.

Mrs ERJ and I discussed it. It is not the first time we heard that phrase used to justify onerous regulations.

Is it really about saving lives?

I doubt anybody reading this believes all of the regulations around Covid-19 were solely motivated by the desire to save lives. There is a simple test.

Part I: If no cost is too high to save 'even one life' then the person espousing the loss of freedom should be HAPPY to have all vehicle speed limits reduced to 30 mph, even on Interstates. Tell them you are passing around a petition and ask them to sign it.

Part II: If no cost is too high to save 'even one life' then the person who believes such should drive at the minimum posted speed on the freeway and 30 mph on all other roads and they should start RIGHT NOW. Yes, I know this would result in many more accidents but, quite likely, fewer fatalities. Accidents are mere inconveniences and cannot be equated with the loss of even a single life.

The 'no cost too high' is really driven by anxiety about loss-of-control. If they were motivated by an altruistic desire to save 'even one life' regardless of the cost their eyes would light up and they would DEMAND that they be allowed to sign the petition.

The irony is that we have no control over how the other drivers operate their vehicle. Yet, we have normalized that risk. It is the unavoidable cost of going about our lives.

That is what Covid-19 is: It is an unavoidable cost of going about our lives. Efforts to mitigate risk can never eliminate it. Like vehicle traffic, there is a broad sweet-spot where the mix of convenience and risk roughly counterbalance each other. And I don't think a governor has enough information decide where that sweet-spot is for every person.


  1. We each need to have a plan to protect what we believe to be important - we can't expect others to always be on the lookout for us.
    For example, I know some people who are concerned about vehicle accidents, so they drive large heavy vehicles.
    I know others who are concerned about COVID, so they are around other people as little as possible.

    There are many risks in our lives; most of them we have normalized and don't think of regularly. Others we take some steps to reduce and live with the remaining risk. Examples include clean water, car accidents, disease risk (some mitigated by exposure, others vaccine, others ignored), crime, etc.

  2. My counter to those people is "How many lives is it worth to save that 'one' life?

  3. "If it saves even ONE life..." we could have all stayed home from World War II and now we would be speaking German.

  4. The one life thing was what the last president used to shove stupid laws down our throats regularly. Has Trump ever used the lame one life excuse? I don't think so.

  5. The phrase "If it saves even ONE life..." is a trigger.

    We adults and conservatives can identify it as such and choose to act when it is uttered.

    It is useful when idiots self-identify.

    Other triggers may include:
    "How many guns do you NEED?"
    "Can't we all just get along?"

    Are you noting the addresses of houses sporting BLM signs?
    Isn't that information you may need in the future?

    1. Regarding houses sporting BLM signs, many of them are next to, or across the street from homes owned by black families.

      One family had a hand-made sign in their window, compete with their children's hand-prints. The sign did NOT say BLM. Since then, they took down the hand-made sign but have refused to put up an official, funds-go-to-BLM sign.

      I think intimidation is going on and I don't think the existence of a BLM sign means anything.

    2. Intimidation may well be going on in suburban neighborhoods, where people live close together. In the semi-rural (i.e. large lots and very large lots) area where I live, No. A few people on my road have put up the BLM signs, and I feel safe in assuming they're probably douche bags.

  6. We're all going to die.
    When and how is not always up to us.
    But we unless we intervene in a specific moment, we are hard put to know we "saved a life" by making draconian extra-legal rules.

  7. I counter that phrase by asking when they plan to remove their flush toilets from their homes.
    But I realize I'm wasting my time.

    1. Huh ? I don't get your whole message. Please "esplain".

    2. Will do Ricky.:)

      Small children can drown in toilets. Therefore removing all flush toilets saves lives, and thus my comment.

  8. A couple points:

    I refuse to use the word 'epidemic' because this is not an epidemic.

    I use 'this phase of this Economic Lock-Down'... because it is, I suspect, one phase of many.

    The terrorists declared war.
    The terrorists are soldiers.
    Responding with LawEnforcementOfficials is inappropriate.


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