There has recently been heated debate over lock-downs in the United States. There are groups emerging with very strong opposition to lock-downs and have made their views known. While I understand the frustrations over these lock-downs, we must find a way to get back to work wisely.
States and counties across America began issuing shelter in place and lock-down orders in March. Since that time, Americans have largely cooperated. However, tensions have begun to boil over in recent weeks. Millions of people are losing jobs, businesses, and the means to support their families. As a result, some are demanding local officials loosen the shelter in place orders. In fact, their have been large protests at state capitals across the country to allow businesses to re-open. These concerns are very real, and should be listened to, but we cannot go back to business as usual.
The coronavirus has killed more than 80,000 Americans since February, and will likely reach over 100,000 soon. It is plausible this virus could kill over 200,000 people by the end of the year. The number of dead from coronavirus will be many times higher than our annual “flu-related” deaths, which are questionable to begin with. In addition to the death rate, people are ignoring other possible complications.
People are getting strokes, having heart attacks, and some doctors suspect children may be developing Kawasaki syndrome from the virus, though more investigation is needed. There is a lot we do not know about this virus, and with so much uncertainty and a high death rate, we must remain cautious while opening the economy.
While a cautious open seems sensible, I am not seeing this sentiment as much as I would expect. Fox News has imbecile pundits comparing coronavirus to heart attacks and diabetes. Additionally, family and friends do not want to wears masks simply because a government official told them they should. This is nonsense. And interestingly, the same people who want to open the economy without precautions (like mask wearing) often believe the virus is a bio-weapon. This leaves me scratching my head. The same people who refuse to wear a mask because the county judge says so also believe coronavirus is a bio-weapon? Of course my sample size is not statistically significant, but I have seen this sentiment echoed many times. It is obvious that this line of thinking is insane. If the coronavirus is a bio-weapon, then we should certainly be wearing masks and other protective gear when possible.
I realize this post appears to bash people in favor of opening the economy. However, these people are correct in one thing: we have to get the economy moving again. We just have to be wise about it. Wear masks when you work in public, avoid large crowds like clubs and concerts, and lets beat the virus while getting back to work.