Case Study One: A matter of life and death
The Covid-19 pandemic so far has costed nearly two hundreds thousands lives, most of whom are
elderly and patients with chronic illnesses. To contain the spreading of this highly infectious
disease, governments have resorted to restriction of dine-in hours, closure of bars and pubs,
quarantine of incoming passengers, lock-down of entire cities as in the case of London, bringing
global economic activities to a standstill.
The long, eagerly-awaited news of vaccines that can effectively combat the Covid-19 virus have
finally been confirmed. However, given the massive scale of the pandemic, inoculating even ten
percent of the world’s population would take 2-3 years.
To make the best use of the limited supply of vaccines, the head of World Health Organization
asks his staff to develop a priority list and answer the following questions.
Q1: Should people who make society flourish through their economic productivity, such as the
employees of Goldman Sachs, be put into the priority group?
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Q2: Should people who contribute to making life enjoyable, such as entertainers and athletes,
be put into the priority group?