I was trying not to write about this coronavirus stuff for a while, but occasionally something pops up that really needs to be said. This is definitely one such case. The catalyst was my son’s grandmother.
Dani’s Spanish grandmother had a test for coronavirus the other day. The results were good. She has the required anti-bodies which means that she has either had a mild dose of the disease or is naturally immune. That is basically it. The exact medical and scientific analysis is not that important right now. The test cost just €60 in a private hospital. Sixty euros only!
She is retired, so therefore a vulnerable member of society when there is a virus going around. This test result gives her great peace of mind. And that is really important. Stress will be seen to be as much of a factor when the dust settles on all this.
But then I thought about it from another angle. I immediately realised how little it would cost to test the country’s entire working population.
Cost of testing in Spain
This is very basic arithmetic. If you equate that to the working population of Spain – which is about 25 million – then it would cost:
25,000,000 x 60 Euros.
That comes to 1.5 billion Euros. (1,500,000,000 if you want to see all the zeros)
That is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nada! And this is based on private hospital charges. Surely any country’s national health service could do it for far less.
Compare the costs
Those who are immune can go back to work – with immediate effect. Get the economy up and running again. The rest should take the usual common sense precautions. It’s not rocket science is it?
Compare the relatively small expense of testing with the cost to the economy. I really do not have all the figures, but when you completely shutdown a country and stop everyone from working the cost must be huge. Astronomical. This has been the case now for nearly two months (in Spain). Seven or eight weeks and counting. How is this being allowed to happen?
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has already launched a €200 billion spending spree to counteract the effects of coronavirus (whatever that means). Apparently warning of “very tough days ahead”. Why? For goodness sake, why? That is 133 times the cost of testing the working population. What is all that money for? A large portion will no doubt be used to pay people unemployment benefits as their jobs disappear. But even that is only a fraction. Where is the rest going eh?
For crying out loud man! Let’s get the people back to work!
Hola Señor Sanchez
So, my challenge to the Prime Minister of Spain is simply this: Give me the purse strings. Let me run the economy for a short time to get as many people back to work as possible. We can discuss my fee later. Let’s just say that you can give me 10% of the money I save the Spanish economy. That would not only rescue the Spanish economy; it would make me a very rich man.
What do you say, Señor Sanchez?
Are you awake yet?
Ah but (there’s always a “but” right?). They say that they are not sure whether a person can contract the disease again. At least that is what some of the media stories I have read say about it. I am sure you have heard similar tales too.
Well then. What are we to do? Really. This can mean only one of two things. Either, there is no hope; none. Or, they just don’t want to find a quick and simple solution to all this garbage. I naturally lean toward the latter. Ask yourself – and your local member of parliament – why are they not trying to get the working population tested. It must be time to wake up and challenge this economic suicide.
Well? Are you awake yet?
NOTE: This example is for Spain, but it applies equally to any country