Not Enough Beds And Unwanted Babies: The Consequences of Conservative Political Philosophy
There are those who are predicting a near-term end to the covid crisis as everyone who might get infected gets infected with schools back in session and herd immunity is reached. This is wishful thinking at best. What is more likely is that our weak societal response to the threat of this new virus and its delta variant in the face of good vaccines will result in covid being with us forever in ever-more virulent novel forms. It is likely that we will have a new seasonal flu and that those who are fully vaccinated will, in the main, be protected from serious illness while the unvaccinated sicken, get hospitalized, and some die while spreading the disease to those unable to be vaccinated (under 12).
Those additional, unnecessary hospitalizations have huge consequences. In the beginning of the pandemic people were foregoing routine doctor visits including cancer screening. This resulted in people presenting with more advanced cancers and some dying. Now the acutely covid ill are pushing out other patients in need of hospital beds and overwhelming the medical staff of many hospitals, especially in the red unvaccinated states in the South. Burn out among medical staff is increasing and covid is why. That far more conservative Republicans remain unvaccinated compared to Democrats suggests a philosophical set of beliefs that minimize the benefits of scientific expertise and rely on hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat the unvaccinated ill. Hospital beds are filling with covid patients and most of them are unvaccinated, a state more likely among conservatives. Republican policy, especially in Texas and Florida, is killing people and surely squeezing out patients with non-covid-related illnesses who need hospital beds. Thanks, Red States!
And talk about unintended consequences, what do you think will be the upshot of the new anti-abortion law in Texas where neighbors are supposed to rat on other neighbors if they think someone had an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy? We can be sure of several things. This new law will disproportionately harm the poor who have no recourse after 43 days of pregnancy if that pregnancy is unwanted or even the result of rape or incest. They cannot drive nine hours to New Mexico and pay for an out of state abortion. They will be forced to have the unwanted child or worse bring back back alley abortions with the accompanying death. Most of these women will have the unwanted child which will prove a greater stress on the welfare system of these states (Medicaid, CHIP) and undoubtedly will put more children in single parent homes and be subject to the penal system inevitably.
To my conservative friends who back these policies of non-vaccination, non-mandatory mask wearing, and the outlawing of legal and safe abortion, think about the consequences of these policies and of the votes you have cast for men like Greg Abbott or Ron DeSanctis. These are men without scruples who are pandering to the extreme right-wing in the hope that Donald Trump does not grab the Republican nomination in 2024.
These men know better. They are cynics playing to a mob. Unfortunately, it does mean your taxes are likely to go up to support the growing welfare state and they may not have a bed for you when your left main coronary artery clogs. Think about that the next time you vote for these right-wing politicians and know that they are pandering to the worst instincts of humanity and doing so with full knowledge. These men are evil. So are their policies and those policies have consequences that will affect you. Adversely.