I’m not sure anyone knows the best return path. I certainly don’t. We all need guidance. I place most of my faith in the experts, certainly more than in any of the politicians.
I have deep sympathy for those furloughed or fired and understand the vital need for them to restart their income stream. I realize we must get the economy moving soon and recognize no return to normal is going to be risk free. I feel for those who have to make the tough decisions.
Whatever the approach, I hope our leaders plan it in a way that maximizes our safety and inspires confidence that they are concerned for all of us. So often, words of sensitivity accomplish much.
Unfortunately, such words often are absent from our leaders’ mouths. Comments already uttered range from stupid to unfeeling.
One of the dumber ones, by a Republican anxious to open the economy, said it would be beneficial to Trump and Republicans if people would eventually say, “Gee, not that many people died. Was it all worth it?” I’m afraid voters might very well think that way, especially if told to by he whose words are taken as gospel. What they should be saying is, “Thank goodness fewer died than had been predicted. Thank you to all the courageous leaders who shut things down and to all who obeyed so the death toll wasn’t significantly worse.”
Along the same lines are those mutterings attempting to justify the insignificance of the virus by saying the number of deaths from the flu is greater than the count from the virus. I don’t know if that will wind up being true, but again, deaths from the virus are down because of the actions taken, and any comparison of the two entirely different types of afflictions and approaches to dealing with them has to take that into account.
The speaker of the House in my state has associated himself with people who are saying things like: “The pandemic is over, let’s start the economy, and all the shutdown has been useless. Wow! If only we’d known all this sooner. Time to get rid of those face masks and give everyone we meet a big hug. He’ll be the first one I’ll hug as I cough.
Also, I wonder what a low death toll means. It’s easy to say that “only” 60,000 died when it could have been 300,000. I can’t help but think about all who have lost a family member to the virus. For them, everyone important has died. Many lives have been destroyed by the shutdown, but some have been devastated by permanent loss. Where is the sympathy for them in the “only” statement?
One of my favorite comments is that older people would be happy to die if it meant the economy could be opened. I’d be interested in a polling of seniors to see how enthusiastically they endorse that position. And I wonder if the author of the claim would sacrifice his parents. He probably would.
As I said, no return is going to be risk free. Several statements have been made that recognize deaths will increase when the economy opens. Fair enough. But then the comments often add, without empathy, “that’s just a sad fact.” I’ll say. It’s very sad to those who die and their relatives. What are we supposed to do, think of them as martyrs to a greater good?
I don’t trust most of those pushing for an early return. Politicians with pockets lined by large businesses. Squeezed together crowds walking around displaying guns and mocking social distancing. Financial gurus devastated by stock market plunges.
I do trust the medical community and the scientists.
We have to hope that a miracle will occur, and decisions will be made in a wise and caring way.
NEWS FLASH! As I was preparing this our governor just announced he will be removing restrictions (after chatting with President Trump because, of course, he wouldn’t want to act on his own) in a “measured” way with more details coming today. How will he do it? Will we be better off, or will our chances of getting sick increase? How much trust can I give to the man who looks to Trump for inspiration?