Corona Virus When There is No Health System

3 thoughts on “Corona Virus When There is No Health System”

  1. Thank you for this meditation Blair. It is a timely reminder for all of us in the privileged west. As church in this context we need a corrective to our theology of entitlement!!


  2. I live in Italian-speaking Switzerland. Almost all of my office colleagues are Italian and commute over the border from Italy each day (or did until it locked down).

    None of any my circle of people fears for themselves or their children. All of the effort I see people making around here is being done with the intentional effort of protecting “our” elders, even at great economic cost.

    I’m not sure I see anything wrong at all with those selfless efforts. In fact I’m quite proud of the Italians.

    Moreover, while Italy has an advanced, free, universal health care system, neverthelesa it is being acknowledged that the single greatest weapon at this point in time is extremely low tech: shutting down the country, stopping work, closing schools. Malawi has full access to that technology: I hope if the time comes they will use it too.


  3. As I said over on Facebook, I hope it is clear that I don’t see anything wrong with selfless efforts to protect the most vulnerable, like my dad. I’m not in touch with the situation in Italy like you are and perhaps it is different than in the places I am in touch with. Hoarding for instance is a result of fear and is selfish.

    Your second point is valid but only too a certain extent. Yes, social distancing is free, but its efficacy is predicated on the first part of your observation. That is, in Italy as in Canada, the free, universal health care system is the thing that will save people’s lives and social distancing allows that system to operate well. Social distancing controls the demands put on the system but is not the actual thing that will save someone. So, the logic of social distancing makes less sense if there is no system to control demand for.

    That does beg the question, which Dwayne Hodgson was pointing to on FB, as to the best way of managing a pandemic in a place without a functioning health system. I didn’t address that question in the first blog post but will turn to that in the coming days as we face the reality that corona virus will make it to every country in the world. What I can say now is that social distancing may play a role but it will not be the most effective form of response in a place like Malawi. We can’t simply play out the same methods here that are effective in Italy, Canada, or the US, because the context is quite different.

    Stay safe and keep on helping others as they navigate through some difficult times.


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