So what day is it now, day 36 of the economic and social lockdown of society? Although we’ve been witnessing a few protests here and there, we’ve not yet devolved into a second revolution. Most people understand the importance of stemming the spread of the Wuhan Virus, but there are sp many people hurting – 22 million out of work, and millions of school-aged children in a virtual jail situation. It’s not that we can’t go outside, it’s what we are allowed to do once we are outside. The longer this persists however, the longer it will take everyone to recover from the trauma of being at home constantly.
Credibility is on the line here: Federal and State governments along with individual cities will have a lot to answer for if this emergency turns out to be less than what has been predicted. Of course, we’ve all seen how those predictions have changed, in a very short time. The end of February, we were told, by experts, that this virus would not be a huge impact on us. Two weeks later that prediction changed and we are where we are now because a failure of all the scientific experts to begin to understand what this was and trusting information that came not only from china, but the W.H.O. But then, where else would any country get information about an epidemic (soon. pandemic) than from those who were experiencing it and those (W.H.O.) supposedly monitoring?
Trust the science. I generally believe that, but now, the science is moving too rapidly for most of us to understand what is going on and therefore, the anxiousness from parts of the population to return to their lives. The experts cannot tell us whether reopening the economy may result in a second wave of infection. They can’t tell us whether this is a one time event or whether we may expect to see the Wuhan Virus appear every fall/winter from now on. They can’t even say, for certain, that if a person has had the virus, and recovered, exhibiting the antibodies, whether or not they may be immune from becoming infected again. And if that’s true, for how long? A year? Five years? Six months?
So we weigh the awfulness of two scenarios: Remain in place (mostly) and hope for at least a viable therapy in the near future, or attempt to go back to the way things were before March, and hope that we don’t see a second wave of the virus sweep through the country. No one can tell anyone for certain one way or the other what may occur in either circumstance except for this: The longer the economy is in standstill, the longer it will take to get the engine running again and even then, the suffering that will exist during startup. Is this a 50/50, flip of a coin? No, I think we need better science, yes there’s a lot more data now than there was a month ago, but I also believe that we may have to take a risk, as we’re beginning to see in some states, that we’re basically through the worst.
Unfortunately, the risk is the same either way, and it comes down to everyone taking a level of personal responsibility.
One thought on “Weighing the Risks”
It seems evident, based upon the results in other countries, that we will see a second wave when the country opens back up. Does it make sense to enforce quarantine measures upon states with “few” infections and far different lifestyles than congested cities? Hell, no. And, I think that is why people are protesting.
Should Mosques in New York be allowed to hold daily prayer sessions, while members of Christian Churches in rural states are not allowed to gather in parking lots, remain in their cars and listen to a radio broadcast in a celebration of Easter? Should Walmart and Target be able to sell clothing and Lowes and Home Depot sell building and gardening supplies when small businesses are forced to stay closed?
Do we have enough common sense as adults to choose to be safe and cautiously venture back out to work? Can we as parents make a decision for our children to go back to school if that is an option? I think that option might not be offered, which means that one adult would be needed to monitor younger children as they remain at home and do their online classwork.
We cannot remain with a shutdown economy that has already suffered more damage than is realized by most citizens. The country must judge the risk state by state, perhaps county by county, and we must get going again as best we can.
As I understand it, we will be lucky to avoid deflation, followed by hyper-inflation and a depression. Wars usually get a nation out of such a fix, and we certainly have aggressors in the world, but only an insane person would seek a war with Russia or China.
My son said to us a few weeks ago, “I never thought I would see this in my lifetime.” Neither did we, but here we are…suddenly, wham-bam! Hubris? If so, we are all guilty of it. The distressing part is that some parties seem to want this for our country and the world. WTF, people?
No answers here, just questions. Well, I guess “I don’t know” is an answer. It seems that we say that a lot, while shaking our heads. Hugs help.