If You Only Have a Hammer

On reflecting on today’s “new normal” of shutting down countries to control an infectious disease, an old adage came to mind. If your only tool is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.

When confronted with the Covid-19 problem, politicians consulted their “infectious disease experts” for a solution. If you are an “infectious disease expert” your logical response is that the sure way to control the spread of infectious diseases is to isolate and quarantine everybody, forever. They have to say that, it is the only arrow in their quiver.

One would have thought that the leaders of the countries of the world would have considered all factors related to shutting down a country such as:

  • How will people earn a living while locked down.
  • How will businesses survive without workers or customers.
  • Once the companies have shut down, and more people are out of work than those still working, how will we finance social welfare programs for all the newly unemployed people that we forced out of the workplace.

Obviously the leaders of the various countries are more savvy on such things than me, and have this all figured out, and have considered all factors for the greater good of their populations. I am patiently awaiting the results of their secret master plans to fix all this and end up with society better off than when the pandemic started.