Control versus Providing Healthcare

What are we trying to accomplish?

What was or is the problem?

The threat: we faced a virus few understood.

COVID-19 came with so many unknowns.

Would 10, 20% of the population be infected—perhaps 50 to 100%?

We just didn’t know.

Ultimately, the unknowns permitted the media to project the worst, driving the public into panic mode. (Read: The Great Toilet Paper Pandemic of 2020, The Recipe for Panic)

To date, no cure has been identified that has proven effective against the virus.

To the most vulnerable, those with preexisting conditions especially respiratory issues, COVID-19 represented a death sentence.

What it all comes down to: should we define the problem based on control or providing for the healthcare needs of the public?

How do we best protect the American public—through control, i.e. trying to stop the virus, or putting in place the necessary healthcare capacity to provide for those in need?

The trouble with basing the problem definition on control: it assumes we can in fact control the enormous numbers of unknowns associated with the Coronavirus outbreak.

Given the vast number of unknowns, especially transmission associated with COVID-19, can we protect the public through control?

Is that reasonable?

What if control proved unattainable?

One of the major elements in successfully defining a problem is to ensure a realizable solution is attainable.

Faced with the above criteria it becomes clear defining the problem centered on controlling the vast array of unknowns associated with COVID-19 was never the right approach and should never have driven our decision making process. (Read: In Times of Crisis: No Room for Dissent)

Instead, the focus should have been on controlling what we actually can control. In this case, the nation’s healthcare capacity.

This reduces the challenge to one of supply and demand.

Additionally, the problem definition should incorporate any impact including financial.

When viewed in this light—it should be clear the problem facing the nation is one based on providing enough healthcare capacity to service the needs of those negatively impacted by COVID-19—not controlling the uncontrollable.

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