South Korea successfully mitigated their outbreak of COVID-19, with early and widespread testing as their principal defense. Testing means quarantines can be targeted and the outbreak compartmentalized, giving their medical system the space to adapt.

America squandered this best chance. The disease has broken out into the whole nation, with only compromised possibilities for mitigation. Now the entire economy must be quarantined, with economic ruin piled on the suffering of the virus. The suffering is beyond any I’ve seen in my twenty-five years of service as a paramedic (and will be the subject of another piece).

The hubris of harming people for their own good has long been a theme in these pages, and here we have the case as Generational event: the government granted itself the sole power to implement COVID-19 testing. It used its monopoly to prevent distributed forms of testing. the rationale? “To prevent suffering.” And the test the government mandated was ineffectual. The government’s failure was beyond satire: their test could not distinguish COVID-19 from lab water.

If the alphabet agencies fret over ineffectual tests, their energies should be spent in developing ones that succeed, instead of threatening to stuff more Americans into the world’s most overstuffed cages. We have had a legal remedy for fraudulent products with two centuries of common law, long before there ever was a Federal Government (or much of one).

We would have done better to have just approved South Korea’s testing regime. I don’t see the South Koreans, our students, now our masters, claiming unique, sole, only, exclusive and perfect success in their COVID-19 testing.

The Feds spent a huge sum of money studying this, to try to emulate evolutionary experience. They gave themselves outstanding grades on their own performance. But the basic truths were missed by our Mandarins, missed to the point where the Chinese are getting New York more ventilators than we have from the strategic ventilator reserve (whatever we figure out that was). Chinese Mandarins are now more beneficial to our people than our own.

And if the leader of one of the alphabet agencies made Amazon’s distribution system for virus testing, that could be delivered same-day Prime (a marvel of evolution), that leader would rightly ride the perceived competency to highest office.

To justify jailing, a test needs to be perfect. Meaning, no more adaptation is needed. To claim sole power for a solution means the solution must be perfect, because sole power to solve, also means the power to prevent any other solutions. If the test is not perfect, we are back to the irony of punishing people for trying to solve the problem of a generation. We have the world’s largest biotech industry, we are the holders of more Nobel Prizes in medicine than the rest of the world combined. They all (and everyone else) want to solve the pandemic problem. But the sole solution-maker is the institution that didn’t know what their own water was, who will bear only token consequences for negligence that would be be criminal from anyone else. Also a common theme here at Pigs and Sheep: the maker of a problem is rarely its solution.

These are all affronts to reason before we come to the basic question (for Americans, anyway): by what right can the government threaten anyone for buying, or making, a test that can’t harm anyone and which might save many? A 90% failure rate, impossible in the market, would have us testing more than the alphabet’s way: 10% is more than none. The failures could have been built on.

Everything known to be scientific truth is known through hard-fought trial and error. The more trial and error, the more perfection. Success does not pop whole from the head of Zeus.

Trial, error and evolution from multiple methods, is the approach the alphabets dare to jail free Americans for.

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


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