The Best Defense Against Disturbing New Diseases

"Global defenses against new infectious diseases are only as strong as the health systems in the poorest communities all around the world."

Epidemiology is, in its own way, as much of a refutation of neoliberalism as climate change is.

Markets are useful tools for individual benefit-maximization and sometimes that's good enough, but the really important stuff is a matter shared destiny that markets are singularly unsuited to.

This is the fundamental problem of preppers: you can't shoot germs. The cheapest, most reliable way to survive a societal collapse is to prevent it, and failing that, to rebuild. Your luxury bunker won't save you from cholera and TB outbreaks caused by massive die-offs.

The movement tries to rescue neoliberalism by admitting a tiny sliver of state competence, but almost every important issue has the same contours as climate crisis: a susceptibility to negative externalities, with potential species-ending consequences

Just as the looting of post-colonial countries has left them without the capacity to manage pandemics, putting the countries that stole their wealth at risk of crisis and even collapse...


...So too does the refusal to house and tend to homeless and poor people create conditions for pandemic in rich countries.

LA has so many homeless people it distorts the national average. There's exactly one policy that has been proven to address homelessness: Housing First.

That's when governments build homes and let homeless people live in them. It's not just a way of addressing the moral stain of homelessness in rich, prosperous cities, it's also *cost effective*.

And if that's not enough, it's also a way to break up reservoirs of infectious pathogens that poor sanitation, poor sleep, poor nutrition and medical neglect engenders.

It's just not Pareto-optimal to die of TB because you rejected a $0.10/sqyd parcel tax that would have solved your city's homelessness crisis.

@doctorow I'm reminded of when San Diego started bleaching their streets to prevent Hep A infections caused by public urination.

> A lack of affordable housing is contributing to the problem — "seventy-seven percent of unsheltered people said they became homeless in San Diego,"

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