The post-Pandora Solution

As a gift, Zeus gave her a box, which she was told never to open. However, as soon as he was out of sight she took off the lid, and out swarmed all the troubles of the world, never to be recaptured. Only Hope was left in the box, stuck under the lid.

Quick, what’s the difference between red tide and Covid-19?

Well, the obvious answer is that red tide has been killing tons of fish in Florida waters, while C-19 has been killing tons of Floridians.

But the answer I’m going for here is that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approach to both red tide and Covid-19 has been a case study in what you might call the post-Pandora Solution.

Red tides (and fresh water algae infestations) have steadily grown more common and more toxic. And it’s hard not to make the connection between the toxics we Floridians keep spewing into the water and the worsening water conditions.

The obvious solution is to stop dumping so much bad stuff into the water. But that would require stricter water pollution regulations and enforcement. And if there an article of faith embraced by Florida politicians over the last quarter century is that regulations are bad for profits and jobs.

Hence Gov. Ron’s post-Pandora solution.

To prove his “green” bonafides, DeSantis got the Legislature to put $18 million (over six years) into the Florida Red Tide Mitigation And Technology Development Initiative.

Basically he wants scientists to find something – clay, copper sulfates (heck, why not chlorine? It works in swimming pools) – that we can dump into the ocean to kill the red tide.

The beauty of mitigation is that if scientists can pull it off – assuming they can find the magic after-the-fact solution to pollution – we Floridians can just go on and on dumping toxics into the water with nary a care about consequences.

Gov. Ron likes the post-Pandora Solution so much that he’s carried it over into his Covid policies.

We know that the best way to combat Covid is prevention – masks and vaccines and social distancing and so on. But DeSantis won’t abide infringements on our personal freedoms to infect others. He’s become a fanatic about prohibiting masking mandates and he isn’t exactly Florida’s spokesman for vaccinations.

Ah, but DeSantis has a solution, and the beauty of it is that there’s no need to slam Pandora’s box shut. Leave it wide open.

Forget prevention, he says, mitigation’s all the rage.

If you do get Covid, just get some of that monoclonal antibody therapy and everything will be hunky dory.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that one of the Guv’s top donors has a major investment in this Regeneron, which profits from MA treatment. That’s just politics as usual.

The important thing is that treating Covid it after the fact allows us to live our lives without worrying about whether or not we may be infecting others.

So does it work? Well, the FDA has authorized it, but also cautions that “Monoclonal antibodies….may be associated with worse clinical outcomes when administered to hospitalized patients with COVID-19 requiring high flow oxygen or mechanical ventilation.”

Anyway, efficacy isn’t really the point, not when it comes to red tide or Covid.

The point is that we can not only open Pandora’s Box, but leave it wide open full ajar. Because if something bad does happen there’s gotta be a chemical or a pill or a supplement to make things right.

1 Comment

  1. This is very interesting – I never thought of “mitigation” quite this way (as a form of responsibility shirking).

    I particularly loved the “GOP-Forbid” play on words.

    Thanks for sharing your talent for writing with us.

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