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It is Important that You Die Where You Stand (Or Else You are Selfish!)

I read an article today that pointed out (what seems a bit obvious) that in case of a nuclear blast, you might be better off dispensing with the ‘official’ advice, which is:

The official U.S. government advice is to “take shelter in the nearest and most protective building.”

The nearest and most protective building might not really be suitable for shielding yourself from radiation.  The researcher suggests that many thousands could be saved if you risked a 5-30 minute trip to find something better.  But then there is this at the end of the article:

“I disagree with the conclusions,” Lawrence Wein, an operations research scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, told Science. “He fails to account for several important issues that are vitally important for policy recommendations.”

I would like to take a stab at what these other issues are, inspired by my research into the public health community past and present.  Everything comes down to ‘policy recommendations’ for them, because the lot of them think there isn’t anything we commoners do that we can manage ourselves.  The article doesn’t elaborate on what Wein had in mind, but my guess is that one of those issues would be all those people running around town, clogging the roads, looting the local grocery store, etc.  You might get in the way of first responders.  So, my guess at what he wants you to do is to just shelter in place and…  DIE … for the common good.

I am weary of those who think they know just what the ‘common good’ is.  I always have the strange feeling that their policy measures, which allow for, say, 5, 10, or 25% losses/bad reactions/etc, while an ‘acceptable’ cost to them, won’t in the end apply to them.

Using this instance to illustrate, while you are sheltering in place, they have every intention of getting to a location much more likely to increase their own survival.

Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age.  Or maybe I’m just finally getting hip to what’s going on.

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2 Responses to It is Important that You Die Where You Stand (Or Else You are Selfish!)

  1. Wouldn’t praying be the most effective course of action? 🙂

  2. Only if you are an atheist. 😉

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