What Our Response to the Pandemic Hasn’t Done and Could Have Done….

In my model constitutions in this blog I discuss bringing the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa into more dynamic and complete participation in the federal government and the American Constitutional process.  I discussed what I consider to be a more dynamic and realistic role for the District of Columbia. I discussed granting more autonomy to Native American territories as well as Alaskan and Hawaiian first nation lands and federating them with each other which in turn would play out in these federated groups of native territories having representation in Congress. I discussed devolving Bureau of Land Management lands to a set of ideal super farms held to a high standard and allowed certain privileges thereby, I discussed allowing states more control over their border in emergencies and means of funding such control. I argued for a society wide wellness program that facilitated vaccination and preventing comorbidities. These are just a few things from those long documents. But while all these things had other political objectives they were part of a larger vision for making America more resilient in the kind of crisis it faces now.   In addition I argued for a number of things such as buffer zones at each border, improved screening at ports and airports and  funding more preventive care and emergency testing. But this post is not about those stimuli to a discussion that never happened.

This Saturday, May 2, 2020 I just got my mother a palm tree and myself some soil and fertilizer to plant it with and I hope that I will be well enough to plant it in the next couple of days. But I know I am not up to leading a reform on a radical scale in the United States. But I can still suggest that we consider the value of having many small meat packer and sales barns along with a few big ones, s lot of farm to table incentives as well as empowering best practices in the big food companies. Outside the constitutional gild system of my models I can suggest industry associations be both empowered and pressured to be their best. With the little time and energy that I have left, I can still suggest that we think things through on a global scale as well. Many groups have a vision for the fabric of this worldwide supplement to the major economy that can make a difference in times of crisis. There are links here, here  and here to groups with such vision.  There are many other also linked here and here and far beyond this little sample. These things which address issues about how food is produced as well as groups like Second Harvest which prevent waste and feed the hungry — all have a vital role in public health and disaster prevention at the level of massive calamity. I wrote up the model constitutions convinced that these efforts as they exist are not nearly enough but not as a means of undermining the many efforts to make things better that are ongoing.

For me, I think the time to lead anything is pretty well over. I barely manage my own personal existence these days. But while I live I am both an American citizen and a part of the human species — I struggle to fulfill both roles while I yet live. Both the rural and the urban realities must be understood for us to reach the right places. The right solutions must acknowledge wildlands, cities, farms , gardens rivers, islands, continents,  oceans and lakes as well as the polar caps and the rain forests. I also believe we must have a plan for the Moon and Mars. There is no real time suitable to be allotted to making lots of bad mistakes. There is only a chance to succeed by doing very well indeed compared to the norm.

The pandemic has occasioned a lot of discussion and a lot of strident  declarations. Life has been disrupted but the most unattractive aspects of modern life are on full and glaring display. Life is basically more hell than normal for those tormented with a n actual critical point of view. For those who are keyed into the real crises of this era over recent decades the current climate simply accentuates the present set of troubles as more than a fluke situation. This is not some pure random anomaly. But millions of people who would agree passionately with the idea that this is not a rare and random thing would not agree on what the causes and significance of this disaster are and how we should deal with them. In this post I am going to look at a few areas of concern that have not been sufficiently studied., discussed,considered in the pandemic crisis and made ready for future planning and consideration as reformed parts of the new normal to come..

I have recently reached another point of recognizing how horrifying the remainder of my life is likely to be in the future if I get through this time. But I do not plan to freely choose not to survive this time in order to avoid the later pain and decay which will come my way.

There are a huge number of issues in this crisis that are particularly of concern to me. I have a great deal invested in this larger set of discussions,

I have thought of the rural and urban tensions I see arising in this crisis quite a bit. One post is this one.

his evening I plan to go the wake and rosary for Dr. Ardley Hebert. He has been retired for some time and was quite old and very sick. He practiced in my hometown of Abbeville. I knew Dr. Ardley all my life but did not know him very well really. He was once Chief of Staff at Abbeville General Hospital. Abbeville would be a county seat if Louisiana had counties. Instead Louisiana has parishes so Abbeville is the seat of Vermilion Parish. Vermilion Parish is a rural and mostly agrarian parish with a big oil and gas sector and some shipping interests and several small towns and Abbeville is a quaint place and sometimes a fairly prosperous one. Dr. Ardley was the Coroner of Vermilion Parish at one time. He was a political figure in that position.

He was a surgeon but like many of our surgeons he had an office where maybe if you were a best friend of a third cousin’s  ex-wife’s gardener between insurance policies he might give you primary care at a minimal charge when he had slow load on his schedule. If you were close friend he might do whatever was needed to keep you from falling apart physicaly and financialy when you were in need.

The Heberts in the broad clannish sense are a prominent local Acadian

Besides the rural and urban issues, I have some very old interests in many of the health issues confronting us.  Co-morbidities are part of the issue at hand. Wellness is in part about diminishing comorbidities. Things and conditions that combine with Covid-19 to bring about an outcome of death, we have along history of struggling with healthcare issues in America. I mentioned some of those issues along the path to this moment.

This post is one of the mentions:

While a graduate student at Louisiana State University I was privileged to write a review of Pare Lorentz’s posthumously published memoirs FDR’s Moviemaker: Memoirs and Scripts and to read carefully and write about the life of the man who made documentary films for FDR. This man did make films about healthcare and the issues of healthcare reform. However he never made a film about Warm Springs even though FDR died there. I think that the shame of illness, deformity or disease cannot just be lightly dismissed. We must prefer health to sickness in oder to remain sane. But I looked at the movie this evening and simply felt more convinced than ever that the autonomy and empowerment of the struggle were just as important as anything else about the Warm Spring stories. We need a healthcare plan that enrgizes and allows all people to struggle and work hard for their health and wellness. We certainly cannot afford to make it easy to do everything anyone would like to do. But we can help the brave to struggle and be enlightened by the fires of their courage. We must not allow human beings to be reduced on ly to file numbers and entries on actuarial tables when we are trying to understand all of what  human health means and how we are to care about promoting that health and wellness.

There are places in the past of this blog that are more relevant than others.

Despite all this nation’s problems there are many ways in which we excel. I also believe that we have ways of reaching for new goals that are far better than our current situation will reflect. I  lived in China and I liked it. There is a lot more diversity, federalism and tolerance in their system than a lot of people think. There is also a lot of coldblooded killing, fear and suffering in the lives of the Chinese that seldom get reported. I was not there all that long but I left behind people I really cared about and China has many problems that make me worry about those people. However, America is not like China in a whole lot of ways. All countries benefit from a certain federal impulse but not all depend upon it in the same way. For America to survive and prosper it must be pretty darn federalized,

On the surface that may seem to be an argument against establishing another agency at the national level. But the NWA would be chartered to do most of its work through a web of Community Clinics (although it would do some other things as well) and those clinics would be chartered to fit in with the laws and cultures of States, territories, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. If possible it should be able to work in some good agreement with Indian Nations as well. The National Wellness Agency would help us to answer thousands of questions in different ways that reflect community standards. It would not force countless groups of people to give up huge areas of freedom and autonomy to achieve a solution everyone would have to admit is a lowest common denominator at best. We must find an American solution and I believe that my proposed solution is one in keeping with our national character.

 

SO in this little post I do not offer any solutions and I do not address the situation in China that will need several good posts of its own, In this post I just throw out a few reminders that we are not having a complete discussion. This crisis may be one of the last chances we have to wake up to  many of the great underlying weaknesses in the current world order.

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