It always seems wise to me to know exactly what we are all trying to accomplish.
The first clear mission was:
Flatten the curve so hospitals don’t get overwhelmed.
That made sense and after a probably too late/somewhat rocky start, seems that this part of the mission, at least, was accomplished. Hospitals are not overrun (actually many are near empty now, with staff having their hours cut back) and it seems, by and large, we are ready to handle the cases that are still to come. (The fact that we now realize that 80% of those who went on ventilators actually died, and “science” now recognizes that ventilators might NOT have been what they all needed—well that’s another story).
But can we all agree that the next overriding phase of this mission is:
Get the economy going so that the country does not fall apart.
Many have been saying from the beginning, and I believe now more are starting to see that this “cure” can, in fact, end up being worse than the disease. 36 million newly unemployed (think about that for a minute!). What will these people do, when their jobs don’t come back and millions of others’ jobs don’t come back, with businesses that don’t survive.
And can’t we also agree that we are “adult” enough to have a variable level of fear? If your restaurant does not allow anyone in without a mask, then people who feel everyone should be wearing a mask can eat there, and those who don’t believe in that, and won’t put a mask on, can’t. (To those who say that takes away my freedom, STFU, because even before the pandemic you couldn’t go into lots of places barefoot because of the sign, “No shirt, no shoes, no service”. That is the restaurant owner’s choice.
But if I own a restaurant and don’t feel you need a mask to come in, then those who feel the same will come to my restaurant. This way everyone can be comfortable in their own space, taking/avoiding the risks THEY perceive, without infringing on anyone else’s “rights”. Let people seek their OWN level of safety, comfort, and let society determine when we get back to a new normal, whatever that may turn out to be.
Our political leaders are not gods. They/no one knows for sure how this all turns out. Staying indoors til there is a cure (hell, the common cold has been around for a million years and there is still no cure for that) is NOT a successful solution. Viruses have been and will be with us forever. How we learn to coexist with them should be up to individuals/not to a government mandate that is always (as they say) “based on science and safety” (what jibberish!) when the data is incomplete and changes all the time. (Remember, people used “science” to justify slavery, the extermination of Jews, the dominance of men over women). My radar goes off when anyone hides behind that bullshit :). All the scientists who predicted that “blood would be on the hands of Governor Kemp of Georgia” because he reopened too soon. Where are they now? Have not heard from them lately.
Danger is real. No doubt. Fear is real. No doubt. But lots of Chicken Littles out there as well as big, bad wolves. People should be allowed to make their own determinations of how much risk they choose to take. Let them decide if their restaurant requires everyone wearing masks or not. They’ll be those who won’t go, but those that will. And that creates an economy again.
We flattened the curve. Now let’s get the economy going and society up and running again.