Hughesair (Inflection Point)

Retired physician and air taxi operator, science writer and part time assistant professor, these editorials cover a wide range of topics. Mostly non political, mostly true, I write more from experience than from research and more from science than convention. Subjects cover medicine, Alaska aviation, economics, technology and an occasional book review. The Floatplane book is out there. I am currently working on Hippocrates a History of Medicine and Globalism. Enjoy!

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Location: Homer, Alaska, United States

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Logistics and the Pandemic

Logistics, nothing could better dramatize Globalism’s dangerous domestic vulnerability than the COVID19 pandemic. With a “just in time” source for diagnostic kits, reagents, protective gowns, masks, medicines and ventilators dependent on Chinese manufacture, supply and transportation, we suffered massive shortages. The supply chain was unreliable or cut off and our laboratories and ICUs were overwhelmed. We lacked both the manufacturing and logistic systems to immediately respond. Adapt we did in typical American style, but it took time, and we may never again depend on a questionable or global source for medical supplies.

COVID19 further highlights the weakness of a public health system that does not have the authority to isolate, and a portion of the population less willing to comply. This failure to isolate was a problem with the HIV epidemic and again posed a problem with youth continuing to party in the face of calls to isolate and perhaps an unwillingness of some to sustain isolation. Is Public Healths order to quarantine or isolate a violation of civil liberties? In the distant past Americas frontier and religious ethic of cooperation overruled the concept of civil liberty in the face of adversity. Today, however, personal freedom and rejection of institution rather dominates the ethic of liberty. The trauma we face with this pandemic, however, will hopefully drive a return to a greater spirit of cooperation and egality. 

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