The Vulnerable Are Not Expendable For Wealth

Robyne Stevenson
5 min readMar 24, 2020
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

The term “vulnerable” is used daily now and represents all types of people who seem to be more susceptible to developing life-threatening conditions with covid-19 than the general population. Who are they?

The elderly are the first group — some say over 70, some say over 60.

People with underlying conditions — heart disease, diabetes, lung problems — isn’t that a huge swath of the over 40 population?

People with compromised immune systems — people on chemo or bone marrow transplants, lupus, RA or other autoimmune disorders, H-IV, and other specialized conditions.

On March 23 the Lt. Governor of Texas said he thought a lot of grandparents would be willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their grandkids future. His specific context for this was his concern for the functioning of our economy as he knows it. This remark gave me great pause.

Would this sacrifice be voluntary or are we pulling an Italy and deciding who lives and dies based on available equipment? Is this why Trump refuses to address equipment shortages? Is he trying to box people in to “sacrifice?”

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

This puts us at a crossroads of the fundamental precepts of our society. What is more important? Preserving wealth or saving lives (regardless of age or infirmity)?

The President’s ill-advised expectation that this will all go away and that in another week or so we can all go back to normal is folly — but it would serve his underlying agenda to preserve the wealth of corporations and his re-election. Now, you could make a case that people must go back to work to keep the economy as we know it returning to its most recent levels of performance. It is not required, per se. It is only required to further an end that is very flawed.

What if this is our opportunity to fundamentally reset our economy? To flatten it out as we have learned to say. Instead of the 1% owning all the money, spread it out to a greater swath of the population. Imagine the consumer and savings frenzy there would be if people had less debt and more income because wages…

Robyne Stevenson

I travel the country in my Airstream meeting people and enjoying life. I’m a writer. I was a Professor of Politics. Things change.