Whose country is it anyway? Does the US belong to the politicians? No. Does it belong to the elites, such as high-profile entertainers, sports figures, and business leaders? No. Does it belong to the talking heads we see on tv and hear on the radio? God, no! Well, then, whom? The answer is very simple but oft forgotten. It belongs to us, you and me. We elect the political leaders. They work for us. According to the Constitution our leaders derive their power and authority “from the consent of the governed.” We are the governed, and our consent is granted (or withheld) every year on election day.
Furthermore, we are not required to follow the advice or dictates of someone simply because they can hit a baseball, throw a pass, dunk a basketball, sing, act, make us laugh, or went to Harvard and talk a good game. Their political opinions and common sense are no better than yours or mine, and probably worse. If you doubt me, just listen to them bloviate sometime. As far as I’m concerned they should stay in their lane and refrain from lecturing us. As I often say, many of them are stuck in the NYC-DC bubble and have no conception of the issues and problems most of us face every day. I don’t have to name names. You know who they are. Many of them are nauseatingly boring, dumb and, worse, omnipresent.
What is my point? It is time to ease up on the CV lockdown. We need to do it, and we can do so safely. By now, we understand the health risks. We have been inundated with them for the better part of four months now. We have been bombarded with massive amounts of information, often conflicting, and often flat-out wrong. I gave several examples of this in my last blog, and there is no need to repeat them here. You know what they are. At this point, I think we are fully capable of deciding what we should and shouldn’t do, where we should and shouldn’t go, and with whom.
I believe the lockdown was necessary in the beginning. We were faced with a mysterious and deadly virus. We knew very little about it, except that it had the potential to spread like wildfire. It made sense to act as we did, even though it meant destroying arguably the best economy ever.
But, now, we have weathered the worst. We have figured out how to mitigate the effects of the CV. We have profiled those who are at the most risk and we know what we have to do to protect them. In my view, we have arrived at the point where the health benefits of maintaining the lockdown are outweighed by the economic, social and health dangers of it. Many people are in dire straits. They have lost their livelihood and their life savings. They are unable to feed their families, pay the rent or mortgage, or make the car payment.
The damage is not merely economic. There is social damage. Many folks are depressed, and have fallen victim to alcohol, drug and sexual abuse. Moreover, there is the possibility, or even probability, of long-term health issues that are not obvious at the moment. For example, many people have had to delay addressing so-called “non-essential” procedures, treatments and operations, which, normally, would have been taken care of without delay, a delay which could cost them their lives. Even worse, they have lost their self-respect. They need to, want to go back to work. They need to, want to feel like a productive member of society again.
Those in charge simply cannot understand this. They are safe and secure in their bubble. They are drawing a salary. They have access to whatever creature comforts they need. But, they feel compelled to lecture the rest of us. Many of us are saying, enough, already. Like the line from the movie, Network, “we’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
The various governors have been put in charge of their respective states’ reopenings. As I said in my previous blog, they have made some wise decisions and some unwise ones. Some decisions have been so autocratic, arbitrary and heavy-handed that many view them as violations of the Bill of Rights. Some decisions that turned out to be beneficial have been roundly criticized by commentators who know less than the average person. Some of them have been real head-scratchers. Some of them have been so senseless as to be humorous, except we know the situation is very serious. No wonder compliance has been spotty. No wonder there have been extensive protests.
1. LA mayor Garcetti has decreed people may go to the beach, however, they may only walk on the wet sand, not the dry sand. Question, how does one get to the wet sand without first walking on the dry sand?
2. In IL Governor Pritzker has threatened to arrest any business owner who opens his business. This is the same state in which criminals who are in prison for “non-serious” crimes are being released to protect them from CV, which is rampant in the prisons. So, they are released, but citizens who just want to provide for their family are arrested and confined to a petri dish of CV. Does that make sense? I guess it does to Pritzker.
3. NYC mayor De Blasio is threatening to forcibly remove anyone who goes swimming in the ocean. Of course, I have not seen or heard any evidence that one can catch the CV in the ocean, but maybe he knows something the rest of us do not.
4. Nassau County Chief Executive Laura Curran is permitting singles tennis, but not doubles. Huh?
5. The NJ gym owner who defied Governor Murphy’s executive order and reopened his business was visited by the local cops twice yesterday. The first officer was reasonable. He merely reminded those present that they were in violation of Murphy’s executive order, told them to “be safe” and “have a nice day” and left. A second cop was dispatched. Obviously, he was directed to be tough. He issued summons. Seems to me that was a misallocation of police resources, but I guess not to Murphy and/or the chief of police.
As I have said many times, I believe we can and should be more aggressive in opening up the country. In most businesses we can and must find a way to reopen before we suffer permanent damage. In my most previous blog I gave some examples. There is no need to repeat them here. We have some brilliant, innovative minds in this country. let’s use them.
By now, every state has reopened their respective economies to some extent. None has suffered relapses. Furthermore, there are hundreds of possible vaccines in the pipeline. Business Insider has reported that Moderna is working on one that is in human trials and shows great promise. It could be available as early as this autumn.
The average voter is not stupid. He or she is astute enough to realize when something does not make sense. That is the reason for all these protests. Americans are smart, inventive and ingenious. By this time, they are cognizant of the risks and can figure out how to deal with them. I say, give them the flexibility to do so. The politicians would do well to heed their concerns and to remember that it is our country. They are just caretakers. They need to realize that fact, that is, if they want to get re-elected