I’m a much better person than my wife. When I have an unconscionable thought I immediately suppress it. When she does she puts it on the table and toys with it like a cat does a mouse. Her latest is this:
If all we’re trying to do is save the most vulnerable, then by all means prioritize the elderly in long-term care homes and their staff. But from a purely utilitarian years-of-life perspective, the elderly should be sent to the very back of the line. They’ve long since made whatever contribution they were going to, and they have much less time remaining to enjoy life in any case. And the same holds true for those in the infant acute cardiac unit.
A sick argument and an irrefutable one are not incompatible. But it’s the next one that’s not so much sick as it is quirky. If what we’re trying to do is minimize the spread, then shouldn’t the first round of vaccinations go to the people who’ve been refusing to wear a mask? That we find this argument repugnant would seem to suggest that we’re not, at least not exclusively, concerned to minimize the spread. We’re also concerned about merit. Those maskless people, dammit, have Covid coming, in just the way the rest of us do not. Wouldn’t it be the height of moral irony if people refused to mask up precisely because they could then anticipate going to the front of the line to be vaccinated?
These are the things my wife thinks of that I’m too decent to. It’s a wonder I can sleep at night without an eye open. The clock radio is on her side of the bed, and it’s a heavy one.