Prince Fielder is owed $24 million in the final year of his contract with the Texas Rangers. This would put him nowhere near the top ten current salaries in the sport. But it’s not bad for a player who has not appeared in a game since 2016, when injuries forced his early retirement.
Here’s why Fielder’s salary is newsworthy: As Major League Baseball works on a plan to play a shortened season, current players could receive less than their salaries dictate. But because the sport’s collective-bargaining agreement seems to protect guarantees in contracts such as Fielder’s, he will probably receive the full amount.
This is just one illustration of the fact that COVID-19 is affecting far more people than it is infecting.
Here’s a tragic example: an American missionary pilot named Joyce Lin died in a plane crash Tuesday. She was transporting coronavirus rapid test kits and school supplies to a village in Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, she was forty years old.
The “principle of calculated risk”
A fifty-five-year-old person from the Hubei province in China may have been the first person to contract COVID-19. The case dates back to November 17, 2019, nearly six months ago. As mortality from this horrible disease passes 302,000 deaths as of this morning, why is it taking so long to develop effective therapies?
George Friedman is one of the most astute geopolitical analysts of our day. In a recent article, he discussed the medical system in the context of risk. He noted that “the moral foundation of science is that it must, first of all, do no harm.” As a result, “no drug is released until it is certain that it will do no harm. This requires meticulous testing and evaluation, and that takes time.”
By contrast, “other systems operate not on a zero-risk principle but on the principle of calculated risk.” In a military operation, for instance, “the risk is calculated with care, but so is the consequence of inaction.”
In most structures, “an emergency means the acceptance of a degree of failure that would not be acceptable otherwise in order to gain time. In the military, such shortcuts may well cause deaths, even to civilians. But not taken, these risks certainly increase deaths.”