Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Acceptable Loss

The theoretical grounding of herd immunity is founded on a base calculation
A balance of probabilities in the face of unanswered questions
From the calculus of grief comes the notion of acceptable loss
While pragmatic and realist, the hard nosed risk assessment isn't obvious

An awoof conception perhaps, but they were clear-eyed about acceptable loss
We learned by their actions (or rather inaction) exactly who was the boss
And it was laid out quite plainly: "Let the bodies pile high"
For the economy, a certain proportion should be prepared to die

One act that was invoked referenced defense production
Thus, throughout the crisis, the meatpacking plants stayed open
All the essential workers faced intolerable sanctions
And what a modern Faust might have called erustication

The explicit threat was that you might face eviction
Implicit perhaps, when living wages were a fiction
Not to mention the lack of affordability and the housing costs
No, this is part and parcel of the concept of acceptable loss

There is a rather curious framing, in the matter, when it comes to public health
That somehow, in an emergency, there is paralysis about redistributing wealth
Some advance that between economic growth and human life, there exists a dichotomy
The distinction raised is wholly unknown in the terrain of epidemiology

Surprisingly, they said the quiet part out loud, but this everyone already knows
The excess mortality figures led the way, and they couldn't but be disclosed
When you choose a subprime policy, you run the risk of getting foreclosed
Excessive liability premiums come due, and hazard wages are imposed

The true measure of soul insurance is normally determined by actuaries
Followed by review by claims adjusters of the actual miseries
By the time they compute the sorrow and assess the relevant costs
All too often, humanity is left to answer: what paradise have we lost?

warning label: suffocation hazard


Acceptable Loss, a playlist


A soundtrack for this note (spotify version) See previously: Soul Insurance, Reverse Ferret, A Panoply of Mistakes, and For Want of a Bolt

This note is part of a series: In a covidious time.

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Writing log: May 1, 2021

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