The Signal’s editorial staff really dogpiled on Rob Kerchner this morning (Jan. 4). All three letters to the editor took issue with Kerchner’s position on the COVID-19 pandemic. A couple of them took issue with Kerchner’s numbers while the third took issue with his mindset in general.
All politics aside — and I am convinced that the handling of this pandemic is fraught with politics — I myself have never had an issue with Kerchner’s numbers because I see them as largely symbolic and rhetorical and as such are merely “reflective” of his mindset, a general philosophy with which a previously printed letter of mine agreed. Whether it’s 1%, 2%, 3%, or whatever, a certain number of people have been hospitalized and a certain number of people have died due to COVID-19 and/or its complications — that much Kerchner cannot dispute. Thousands of ICU hospital beds have been occupied, pushing people with other issues away, and loved ones left behind by the COVID dead have suffered and are grieving their losses — that much Kerchner cannot dispute, either. But I don’t see that as being Kerchner’s point in this matter.
From what I have read of his letters, I see Kerchner as a person who has performed a sort of cost-benefit analysis and concluded that the “costs” are outweighing the “benefits.” It sort of runs along the lines of the old saying that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” and I seriously doubt anyone can dispute the fact that the “many” have suffered for quite some time due to the needs of the “few,” and I think it would also be fair to say that many of us have “had enough” of that as well.
If I didn’t know any better I would say Kerchner had some front-line combat experience along with training in medical triage and logistics. If your objective is to win a war then you quickly realize that not everyone can be saved — some must be left to die so that vital resources can go to where they are needed most. In fact, one very effective battlefield tactic is to inflict massive casualties without causing actual deaths so as to tie up the enemy’s resources treating them. I suggest the compassionate Messrs. Thomas Oatway, Brian Springer and Richard Myers do a virtual “tour of duty” to see how well their respective armies would fare.
They’d lose the war, but at least their consciences would be clear, and that’s what matters, right?