About 15 years ago, a friend of mine died in an auto accident. He was driving on a rural road and went through a stop sign. Like too many drivers on rural roads, stop signs are encumbrances to be managed: stop only if you see another car. It doesn’t matter if traffic engineers have done their studies to prove that actually stopping helps driver to recognize that another car is coming.
We could argue that his life could have been saved had society put up $10m to build a coverleaf intersection at that intersection. But we didn’t. In essence, we have put a value on my friend’s life at something less than $10m. To many people, it is horrid that we are even thinking of this way. I dare not bring this topic in my regular social discourse.
I understand the reasons for the many, many shutdowns of the economy over this Covid 19. “Flatten the curve” will give the health care industry more time to better handle the overload at the hospitals. Some lives will b saved. But if mass social unrest happens, there will be a lot more than 4% dying.
I don’t think the politicians were able to think this thing all the way through.