Friday, May 1, 2020

How come it took COVID to get to warp speed?

I think we’re all excited to learn efforts to vanquish coronavirus will now proceed at warp speed because it seems like real action’s about to commence.

Set phasers on disinfect!

It’s all hands on deck. We’re ramping up. Fasten your seatbelts. Get in the fast lane, Grandma … the bingo game is ready to roll!

(Oh, what I wouldn’t give to hear Mike Lange broadcasting a Penguin playoff game tonight!)

One question: What the hell took so long?

I’m not talking about government’s response or lack of preparedness.

I’m talking about the way the pharmaceutical industry conducts business.

How come they’re not always on warp speed?

The most pessimistic speculations say we should have a vaccine — a cure — for COVID-19 in 18 months. And this week we heard Dr. Anthony Fauci say the results of some “highly significant” tests mean it could be ready by January.

That’s good.

But at what speed have our life-saving researchers been operating up ’til now? Because we’ve been dying by the millions from things like cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes.

Where’s the warp speed urgency for those deadly scourges?

As many of you are aware, I myself suffer from an incurable disease that degrades my quality of life, makes me sad about the future and fills me with soul-sickening despair every time I look in the mirror.

I’m talking, of course, about male pattern baldness.

I’d think that would be an easy cure if all the baldy researchers pulled together and shared breakthroughs without regard to competitive profit. I mean there are side effects from other drugs that cause hair to grow in remote and unwelcome places.

You mean to tell me if they all pulled together they couldn’t come up with a pill that had forehead effects?

I’m not belittling the coronavirus response. In fact, I’m exalting it.

I read stories where, say, a French firm has a breakthrough and holds a press conference — not to boast, but to share. Then researchers at Pitt take what they’ve learned and build on that.

I realize the suggestion risks getting me labeled a pinko Socialist, but doesn’t that in matters of life-and-death make the most sense? 

I’m not a fan of the movies, but don’t the superheroes save the world after they agree to work together?

If we’re on track to vanquish through teamwork the most horrifying health crisis in 100 years how long would it take researchers to rid the world of hay fever allergies or insomnia or simple chronic halitosis?

Or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

What have they been doing prior to shifting into warp drive? Playing Ping-Pong?

It’s like they’ve been living inside stereotypical Far Side cartoon panels.

How about once we put this coronavirus behind us (I say vaccine distribution will begin in mid-September), we have a celebrity telethon where advocates promote why the disease they’re representing should next get the “Operation Warp Speed” treatment. 

Montel Williams could advocate a cure for Multiple Sclerosis; Selena Gomez, Lupus; Pete Davidson, Crohn’s Disease, etc.

Then caring Americans can pledge their dough to prioritize our disease cures.

Me, I’ll take every dollar I have (right now that’s about six of ‘em) and put them all on the need for comprehensive mental health care.

Because it seems to me we’re in a race to see which will wind up being the more potent killer: COVID or crazy.

Go back to work or stay home? Wear a mask or don’t? Believe Fauci or believe MAGA?

At a time when you’d think we’d find ways to pull together we’re coming apart.

We’re driving one another nuts and we’re getting there at warp speed.

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