Life is full of challenges, and in order to survive we must find solutions. The alternative is to be defeated by the challenges. The advantage of living in a democracy is that we have the entire range of voices to draw from to find the most workable solutions.
The other option is to abdicate our responsibility as citizens and as human beings and to blindly follow a leader. There is a time when national leadership is required, but we should expect that leadership to be based on valid information and not just on personal whim.
The goal should be to devise a plan to deal with the challenge effectively and equitably. So, the solutions need to be:
Our current challenge is the threat to human life on this planet from a pandemic and and from climate changes in progress due to global warming. The goal is to find a logical and sustainable solution to these existential problems. This reality is not something we can negotiate with. There is no bargain we can make that will change this reality. This is where we must start. We must also realize that these are threats to human survival. That means we as humans are all on the same side when looking for solutions that will work.
That also means that the priority is to take care of the basic health needs of the populace, starting from the bottom up. Those workers whom we classify as essential must receive priority to assure not only their health and safety but also their economic and social survival. They need protective equipment and testing as well as unlimited and free health care. They need economic security providing for food, shelter and all other economic necessities.
Next is the groups most vulnerable, since without their health the entire society remains at risk. These include immigrants, indigenous populations, the poor, the black and brown communities. We must provide whatever resources are deemed necessary for them to not only survive, but also recover and thrive.
We can then move on to begin to add the important, but not necessarily essential jobs protecting them with testing as well as health and economic security, and so on up the ladder of recovery.
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