Protests of the stay at home orders are growing, state by state, around the country. It’s not, in my opinion that people aren’t afraid of the Wuhan Virus, it’s that in some states draconian measures have been in place that won’t allow people to reasonably move about and to at least some extent, conduct their lives responsibly. The other side of the protests though is the chance that there may be some in the crowd that are infected, but asymptomatic. how do we balance the safety of the public at large while allowing people at least a modicum of freedom of movement? It’s a careful balancing act, I believe.
We can’t, and shouldn’t ban innocuous activities, like cutting grass, painting a room at home, or gardening in the yard. These are fairly solitary activities that don’t endanger the public at large. The same with hiking – as long as social distancing is kept in mind – but how many times has anyone witnessed a group of 10 or more people hiking together, all bunched up? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but as an avid hiker where I live? Never. So it’s okay to allow state parks to be open for simple recreation. Why restrict people from activities that are not only physically, but mentally healthy? Fishing. We like to fish. It’s semi-solitary. I’m just listing a few of the activities that come to. mind immediately. I’m sure others can provide longer lists of safe ones.
The government (state) cannot keep people locked down in their homes indefinitely, until, as some have said, there are zero cases of the virus. I don’t think there will ever be zero. Yes, I believe it will, as it appears now, abate, but will it ever go to that magic number? No. Already restaurants, those that don’t have takeout or delivery, and bars, are failing en masse. Some say, Oh, they’ll come back once this is over, but I think we’ll see a lot fewer around than before the pandemic. There’ll be fewer people wanting to congregate, for fear of another outbreak. The New Normal we are hearing about will not be anything like the normal before the virus.
People now, it seems are interested in placing blame than in ensuring the health and welfare of the citizenry. Of course China’s to blame: anyone today that believes that this virus did not begin in China, and that the Chinese government lied and obfuscated the seriousness of the Wuhan Virus, is fooling themselves. There are those that want to blame President Trump, or at least the Federal Government at large for not being prepared. There’s certainly some blame to be placed there. But what about the individual states? Why did none of these have any protective gear, ventilators, etc., available for such an emergency? It wasn’t that long ago that this country experienced a near pandemic with H1N1; That should have been a shot across the bow of these ships of state, from federal on down. But our memory, it seems is short.
The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 is the perfect example. Estimates (yes only estimates) of 100 million people around the world died from this form of influenza. Personally, I do not recall ever reading about it in history class in school. Maybe it was a footnote somewhere, but I don’t think it was ever discussed. I had relatives (grandparents) who were young adults during that time. No one ever spoke about it, even to their own children. So what happens in say, 2 generations after Wuhan? Will those that are still around then pass on to their children and grandchildren what occurred in 2020? I don’t even think it’s 50/50. In other words, unless we go through another pandemic or 2 in the interim, this memory will quickly fade and those governments will not be prepared for may be possible in that not-to-distant future. What we’re referring as New Normal now, will be their normal. What will their New Normal be like?
Major sporting events: Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, and Soccer are all on hold or cancelled for the remain of the season. The Olympics have been delayed until 2021 – at least. The European Championship (a major Soccer event) – cancelled, again until next year. Will we ever have large crowds at sporting events again? The real question is will people want to gather in crowds of multiple thousands to watch them? We’ll see but even if stadiums are ever open again, expect to see significant restrictions on crowd size and placement as well as being ready to have temperature taken upon going through the gate, maybe even having to wear a mask. Eventually though, everything will become part of everyday life. In the meantime though, do we as a society huddle in our homes until the government tells us it’s safe to go outside and at least attempt to live our lives? No, we shouldn’t but right now, and at least in the near future (months?) we all need to realize there’s going to be risk involved, to ourselves and to others.