In light of the coronavirus pandemic calling for tough choices and placing Americans in a fearful state, allow me to try to say something careful for public consideration.
ON THE ONE HAND: We have a deadly virus to mitigate, which entails “social distance” and other precautions such as gloves, masks, and handwashing. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Wish we had done more to prevent the spread of this virus back in January when it was first featured in the news, but we didn’t.
Wish we had closed down all international travel, back then. Just imagine if we had. We might still be going to church, to school, and to work at most jobs. It would have been a HUGE blow to our economy, but nothing like shutting it down almost entirely!
So we failed to mitigate at the start and now we pay a pound of cure. Let us take that seriously.
ON THE OTHER HAND: All our mitigations are hard on the economy, and make no mistake, if the economy gets bad enough, that will cost lives too. In fact, we have deemed many jobs “essential” and never closed those jobs down. This isn’t JUST the medical professionals and first responders; it’s truck drivers, delivery drivers, housekeepers, agriculture workers and actually many more. Not enough to keep the economy going, but quite a lot of people keeping us fed and clothed while we “shelter-in-place.” IF WE DONT WORK AT REVIVING THE ECONOMY, THE PROBLEMS WILL MUSHROOM!
There is more than one way to die in this pandemic.
Oh… and the “essential workers” are getting sick too. Meat packing plants shutting down despite the fact they are “essential” should give EVERYONE cause for pause. Now is a good time to pray.
I hope I have shown proper respect to BOTH issues. I am trying to be brief, so please pardon me if I failed to mention some pertinent point on one or the other hand. I am sure there are more complexities there than I have covered, but I think I have been even handed here.
To those itching to get back to work.
I see you protesting in the streets, out front of state capitols and so forth. They catch you on TV cameras real good. I appreciate your concern that we get back to work to prevent ONE kind of problem, and I hope your concerns are being addressed quickly.
HOWEVER, I see MANY of you clustered together in close quarters to make your point. MANY of you have no observable precautions (masks, gloves, “social distance”), yet you are making very partisan and political protests. MANY of you seem more menacing than concerned. You are arguing, not just with political opposition but, with scientific reason. You are exacerbating the first problem in your mad rush to address the second one which was already caused by the first!
Look. I know you are scared. So am I. But now is not the time to lose your head or start a fight. I am fine with your protest, and I will back your concern even, however your recklessness I do not support.
My wife is a nurse – a frontline warrior against this virus. If and WHEN you get sick with this reckless behavior, it is her life YOU will put at risk AND SHE IS ONE OF THE FEW STILL WORKING AND KEEPING A TRICKLE OF THIS ECONOMY GOING. (I put that in all caps and bold type in case the fact that her human life isn’t valuable enough for your consideration, I want you to see she has value in other ways too.)
Please, please, please… be honest about your fears. DID YOU TALK TO GOD ABOUT THIS? (I didn’t see that on any placards or hear it in any sound bites.) Or did you just go to protesting and spreading the disease? Your little mad is a mask for your deep fears. Your deep fears are quite valid, but your anger is not. Your little mad is going to cost a lot more lives. I hope you will get in touch with your real feelings, deal with them instead of all the dust you kick up. Let’s all just be cool. Your desire to go back to work and to address the economy is valid. I support you on that. But your actions fly in the face of reason and stir up trouble with the very people who are tasked with saving your life. (Think about it.)
Wow! Just think of all the homeless people who don’t have any money to begin with! And they don’t have a choice – or very little – when it comes to “sheltering-in-place.” You, by-n-large, do have the choice. Please, voice your concerns, but do so wisely and carefully. And quit writing off human lives so cheaply.
If you can’t or won’t, then the nurses in my life are asking you to sign a waiver. Put your life where your mouth is. Decide if you are wanting to make the world a better place or just wanting to fight.