Reading Response #3 – Iris Kang

Current Remedies & Considerations for the Future

As described in the Vox article by Eliza Barclay and Dylan Scott, the immediacy of the coronavirus in the U.S. demands action on the part of all age groups and populations within the nation. The current goal of targeting the pandemic is “flattening the curve,” as Barclay and Scott state. They are able to deliver a convincing argument for the logistics of social distancing through many purposeful techniques, including referencing countries that had been hard-hit before the U.S., studies by the Center for Disease Control, and professional opinions by acclaimed professors. Moreover, the authors’ use of graphics such as “Flattening the Curve” diagram put into immediate effect the potential power of social distancing—inherently, a visual that draws the reader to seriously consider how the benefits of giving up time in social gatherings for the time being is much more personal and powerful than may seem.

An important aspect the article fails to mention, however, is that the uncertainty surrounding the current coronavirus outbreak raises many viable questions concerning the future of our nation well beyond the time frame of “months” or “years”. The article does address certain issues within the structure of U.S. medical care, including “the U.S. system’s capacity to handle a severe outbreak” like having only a “maximum number of ventilators… [of about] 160,000” and “45,000 beds in their intensive care units” (Barclay & Scott). Although the current remedy of social distancing is a potential solution to addressing the outbreak at this time, these issues in health care beg the question of “What about the next time?” It is important to address the current situation, but at the same time, we must not fail in analyzing our shortcomings and preparing for an outbreak that will likely happen in the future for the health of our nation as a whole. America must move from a mindset of “for now” towards a critical perspective of “for now and for the betterment of our nation’s future.”