As SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations lag behind, the death toll in the United States, topping 725,000, continues to rise. By the end of the year, if vaccine reluctance continues, more Americans will have died from COVID-19 than combined war deaths in the United States, excluding World War II. Many infections, resulting from broken warrants and advisories, and resistance to fact, were preventable, overshadowed by domestic gun murders (1.6 million since 1968), surpassing the U.S. flu deaths of 1918 The final counts depend on the vaccinations. On Tuesday, offsetting anti-vax propaganda, Fox News correctly debunked the misinformation about Colin Powell’s death. Although he was vaccinated, Powell died of pre-existing conditions and a “breakthrough infection”. Against anti-vaccines, Fox correctly reported that the chances of being hospitalized or succumbing to COVID after vaccination were minimal (0.01% and 0.004%, respectively). Suffering from Parkinson’s disease and 84, Sect. State Powell’s immune system was also suppressed by cancer. Statistics prove that, despite pre-existing diseases and virulent strains like Delta, people who are vaccinated are 11.3 times more likely to survive coronavirus infections than those who are not.
While savings are less important than protecting lives, the facts remain: the more we put on make-up and take up arms, the faster the fiscal outlook will recover. Yet even if vax-slackers fully comply, some repercussions of the outbreak are lasting. Example: disrupted global supply chains. The rapid spread of contagion in 2020 has resulted in shelter-in-place orders and industry closures around the world. This “anthropause” not only benefited wildlife and reduced pollution, but as supply exceeded demand, gasoline prices plunged. We are now experiencing shortages and bottlenecks because manufacturers and distributors are not producing at pre-pandemic levels. Essential agricultural, medical, and protective services have never really slowed down, but elsewhere labor shortages and import shortages of raw materials, components, and specialized technologies (e.g., semiconductor computer chips ) were limiting. Today, burnout and self-preservation indemnities are also impacting agriculture, public safety and hospitals. Brexit and truck driver shortage are emptying UK shelves and gas pumps; Power shortages in China are restricting its gigantic exports and freight costs have tripled in recent months.
The appeal of the 1990s for high availability and low cost transportation, compared to stock storage, encouraged companies to focus on fast and frequent deliveries. COVID has accelerated the game changers: volatile and often capricious oil prices, gargantuan delivery routes, supply and demand for unbalanced freight services and increasingly expensive and finite fossil fuels, mainly diesel. The West’s unique debauchery drives, exacerbated by pent-up frustrations, stimulus money and cabin fever, are increasingly complicated by late deliveries, inflationary prices (due to limited supplies) and manic obsessions of perpetual growth. Access to bottleneck containers and blocked shipping routes (i.e. ports, railways, warehouses, airports) make the adoption of the Infrastructure / Build Better bill essential. Global supply chains, like food webs in ecological communities, become unstable when they are long and linear. With freight rates for goods originating in Europe and Asia skyrocketing, COVID wearers can be spendthrift drunk sailors, but with low quantities and prices too high, they shouldn’t be. One way to lower prices and reduce bottlenecks is prudent and austere consumption, restricting demand, protecting the environment. When there is a shortage, a one-click order from Amazon, Alibaba or eBay means freighters dock for days off Liverpool and Rotterdam, LA, Qingdao and Queensland, burning fuel. Then truckers stand in line for hours, idling exhaust fumes, waiting for e-commerce unloads.
With supply chains spanning multiple time zones and continents, different approaches to tackling pandemics compound complications. Many countries, admirably, require COVID passports and proof of vaccination. Some don’t. China’s target is zero cases. America appears poised to live (and die) with the ubiquitous COVID, an endemic disease. When cities in northern China ration electricity and shut down factories, and Ford and Volkswagen factories in Germany shut down assembly lines due to a shortage of chips, gasoline prices in the United States- United seem more and more accessory and elective. Hopefully, paradigm shifts from cheap credit monetary policy will follow, stabilizing the global economy with shorter supply chains, greater self-sufficiency, and self-sustaining policies. Less reliance on imports will generate sustainable savings and jobs locally, as cheap labor moves from Guangdong and Zhejiang to Mexico, Automation and Viet Nam.
Scott Deshefy is a biologist, environmentalist and two-time Green Party congressional candidate.