On Not Having a Good Time

A philosophical anecdote from Witcraft, a book by Jonathan Rée:

Kierkegaards’s works were not available in English when Wittgenstein started teaching at Cambridge, but he encouraged his students to read him if they could, especially on questions of ethics. Kierkegaard, according to Wittgenstein, reminded us that we must choose between alternative ways of living, some based on sensual pleasure, others on ethical renunciation, still other on religious rejoicing; but these “categories of life-style”, as Wittgenstein called them, were so different as to be “incommensurable” [they have no common standard of measurement], and if we took our choice seriously we would realize that it must issue from unfathomable anguish rather than dispassionate observation or calm reason. “Mind you I don’t believe what Kierkegaard believed, ” he said, “but of this I am certain, that we are not here in order to have a good time” [607].

Speaking of which, The Guardian reports that “doctors are seeing more and more young patients”:

Until recently, the majority of coronavirus cases that Dr Quinn Snyder, an emergency doctor at one of Arizona’s largest emergency departments, saw were older people. But since mid-May, when the state’s stay-at-home order was lifted, and particularly after the Memorial Day holiday, the demographic has shifted. Snyder says he has seen an “explosion” in cases among 20-44-year-olds.

Some of those, he said, are coming in severely ill – requiring oxygen, intubation and ventilators. “We even had people in that age group die, unfortunately. So it’s very troubling and it’s very difficult to watch young people die from this disease. It’s horrible.”

As cases continue to soar at record levels across the US, which now has over 2.6m cases, there is growing alarm about a surge in younger people getting the virus. On Friday, [the vice president] said half of new cases in the US in recent weeks were adults under 35.

Speaking ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, health experts in hotspot states – which include Arizona, Texas and Florida – warned numbers will continue to rise and that if young people do not take better precautions, hospitals will reach capacity and states could be left with no choice but to completely shut down.


ADHS is the Arizona Department of Health Services.