Politics as Public Health Emergency

Photo by Ajay Parthasarathy on Unsplash

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. To some extent I’m exhausted by social media, politics and work all competing with my kids. Plus I’ve been trying to focus on more positive topics like traction splints to keep my spirits up.

With wildfires, COVID, climate change, homelessness, the deficit, elections, Zoom everything, it’s certainly an odd time to be alive. San Luis Obispo has declared racism to be a public health emergency as well. Who knew? It only took a few centuries to get here.

Pre-R is nothing if not a drop-in-the-bucket, private, public health company. So I got to thinking about all the “public health emergencies” out there from asteroids to Instagram, and their order of importance, as well as their “fixabilities.” I won’t be so crazy as to share my lists here. But I will point out one more that nobody perched on our shining democracy hilltop seems to acknowledge … our politics. I’d wager it’s killing us more than COVID19. In fact, the former probably caused the latter. If not, it’s certainly an amplifier.

I’ve worked with the homeless, the addicted, sad adults, abused kids, crushed Haitians, but when was the last time I/we could reliably forecast a particular day when 100-200 million people would suddenly become truly despondent. No matter how you feel about Trump or down ticket candidates, people are spending more time this election cycle frantically working for their candidates than I’ve ever seen. And for a large fraction, all their efforts are about to go up in smoke.

Billions of dollars burnt. Countless miles flown. Years of life lost. Yard signs everywhere. Trillions of impassioned emails to be stored on servers for eternity. Not to mention the opportunity costs. How many friends have you lost already to our brand of politics? I’ve never heard so many smart people from all political leanings genuinely concerned about the threat of civil war. Give me traction splints over politics any day!

The attached podcast applies to kids returning to schools, but it felt like a healthy approach to life and hard decisions in general. To summarize: Pick your path. Consider opportunity costs. Then carry on while making the best of your new bubble.

If I ever run for office it’ll be for the “States United 2.0 Anti-Originalists” party. Folks who view the Constitution neck and neck with the Bible I just don’t get. It’s like Microsoft refusing to improve Windows ’95. Our operating system itself is a public health emergency. And to me it’s at the root of every other challenge we face. Judges for life? Really?? I have to take regular board recert exams and I can only potentially maim or kill about 10-20 people a day. 30 tops. Judges shape millions of lives for generations. No judgment recerts? Not even random pee tests?

Thanks to the electoral college, at least I can take comfort living in a sky blue state where my vote for POTUS has absolutely zero consequence. I guess it’s probably best for me to think global and act local. Maybe I’ll focus on happier topics like bike lanes. Doh! (SLOcal humor)

Love to all, and bottoms up November 4th.🙂

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