The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

A Life of Liberty Or A Life of Lockdown?

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Lockdown ProtestersDeath is part of life.

SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 or Coronavirus or whatever name you give it, is NEVER going away.

So what do we do? Dig holes and bury ourselves forever?

The last known case of Smallpox was in Samalia in 1977. It is the ONLY disease to be considered eradicated by science, but there are some who say it could come back. Think about that. In the history of mankind we have managed to eliminate only one infectious disease. We have vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, the flu, and many others. All of these diseases still exist. All of these diseases still infect millions of people every year and all of these diseases still take precious lives away from families.

Yet, in our 244 years as a nation, we have never, in our public health history, done what we are doing now. We have never shut down all economic activity for any length of time. We have never forced people, on a national scale, to stay in their homes with legal consequences if they leave. We have never arrested our citizens for exercising their God given and constitutionally mandated rights to make a legal living. Never at any time in our history have we completely ignored the Constitution of the United States, because of a disease, with such a broad and sweeping decree.

Yet every day, with continued testing, this virus is proving to be much much less than the angel of death some politicians and news media continue to tell us it is.

Initially the concern was for hospitals and the belief that the infection would spread so rapidly and be so deadly that our health care system would be overrun and unable to cope with the massive numbers. Of course, that never happened nationwide and only a handful of major cities saw overcrowded hospitals. A majority of people who test positive — more than 80 percent in some states — are never hospitalized. A fact our national media still refuses to acknowledge or report. For some bizarre reason, the news media continues to cling to the doomsday prophets and their computer-generated pandemic models.

Testing continues to prove the panic peddlers wrong. One of the first large-scale antibody tests was conducted in Heinsberg, Germany, where 14% of the population had antibodies to the virus. By comparing the estimated number of uncounted infections with recorded deaths, the study suggested that coronavirus’ death rate is as low as 0.37% compared to a 3.4% case fatality rate estimated by the WHO and 0.1% for seasonal influenza. Researchers from Columbia University recently estimated that only 1 in 12 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are documented, which they said would translate to an infection fatality rate of about 0.6%, as reported by The Washington Post.

Every day that you get out of bed and walk out of your house you are at risk of dying. That’s life.

The fact is you are at a higher risk of dying from getting in your car to go wait in line at Costco than you are of dying from catching this virus in that Costco line. We’ve got to stop being paralyzed by fear and and we’ve got to get the country back to work and people back to productive lives. We cannot continue to remain stagnant as a nation or we won’t be a nation for much longer.

It’s probably too late to save us from all of the damage this unnecessarily broad shutdown has caused to our nation’s economy. 1 of every 4 workers in America has filed for unemployment benefits. The grand total of unemployed Americans from this pandemic is a whopping 38.6 million as of May 21, 2020. Georgia’s early move to start easing stay-at-home restrictions nearly a month ago has done little to stem the state’s flood of unemployment claims — illustrating how hard it is to bring jobs back while consumers are still afraid to go outside. Not to mention the idiotic decision to pay people more to NOT work than they can make at their regular jobs. It has become abundantly clear our elected officials had no clue what they were creating with their reactionary policies, based solely on “predictive models” from the beginning. This leaves me to wonder if we will ever learn the folly of relying solely on predictive data for real time decision making. Has the Global Warming debate taught us nothing on this front?

The economic damage and the unintended consequences of this lockdown are even more poignant when considering this survey data gathered by the Census Bureau.

Nearly half of Americans say that either their incomes have declined or they live with another adult who has lost pay through a job loss or reduced hours, the Census Bureau said in survey data released Wednesday.

More than one-fifth of Americans said they had little or no confidence in their ability to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage on time, the survey found.

We see the commercials of companies sharing their sympathies with those hit hardest by the lockdown and suggesting they’re willing to help. But how sympathetic and how helpful will they really be when it’s all said and done and we are back to whatever “normal” will be when everything reopens? Economic reality says they can’t just forgive every debt, although, the Democrats will surely fly in on their magic carpets to shout for “debt forgiveness for everyone!” Of course we never considered Democrats to be economically literate in the first place, but it will make for good political theater.

The bottom line: We Overreacted. We took this lockdown way too far and in the process we created new factions and tribes engaged in meme wars on social media and in some cases real wars of words with shouting matches in stores, real violence in the streets, and sadly, people actually killing each other. The talking heads on TV and their ever willing partners in politics tell us everyday how terrible and deadly and dangerous the virus is seemingly ignoring the real data to continue peddling their panic driven narrative.

All this has done is create more division.

We have the Virtue Signaling Masked Avengers vs the Defiant Un-masked Horde. The Stay at Home Shamers vs the Stick it Up Your @#$% Openers. The Predictive Modeling Doomsday Prophets vs the 99.9% Survival Rate Evangelists. We’ve seen a church burned to the ground by “pro-quarantine fascists” who were determined to teach those church-going, lockdown-defying Christians a lesson, scrawling on the pavement the words “Bet you stay home now you hypokrites.” They can’t spell but they can light a match. This is where we are in 2020.

Yet in the midst of all of this noise and anger is great kindness and compassion being expressed by the vast majority of Americans toward their neighbors and those in their communities. It is times like this when we realize how vulnerable we really are and how important it is to have those neighborly friendships and bonds, how important our family ties become, and how precious and fragile liberty and freedom can be. Yes, there is a lot of negative energy swirling in the winds of COVID-19, but I believe the positive will once again, as it did in 2001 and 9/11, overcome and subdue the anger and pain. That’s what I hope we’ll see in the “new normal.”

There is one thing we all need to take a good hard look at and that’s how and who we choose as our leaders. We, the voters, must share some blame in all of this. The people we have put and continue to put into office at all levels have failed us. The vast majority of them have proven themselves to be anything BUT public servants. We have put people in office who have, time and time again, shown us with their actions while contradicting their own words where their loyalties really lie and it isn’t with us. Self-service is the norm in DC and in too many state and local governments in this country. That has to change.

First we MUST make sure our elections have integrity, checks and balances, and transparency. Ballots should be cast in person. If we can stand in line at Costco and the liquor store we can stand in line at the polls. If we need to extend the time to vote due to large turnout then do it. We’re a large nation with millions of people. If it takes several days to give everyone the chance to enter a polling station then that’s what we do. We can not allow our elections to be changed and manipulated by the whims of those who rule us or they will rule us forever.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this experience will lead to a political Renaissance where true public servants come to the fore who are there to serve for a limited time and then let someone else have a turn. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Perhaps our younger generations will see the flaws that got us here and realize only free and unfettered elections without restriction or party interference will bring the change that’s needed. One can only hope.

And one final question; when will our leaders learn the lesson of one size does not fit all? Maybe after the Renaissance…

Open the country and let people begin to work on salvaging their lives and moving forward through the risks and dangers life always has and always will present. Let the chips fall where they may.

Life is hard and there is a reason for that, but that is a topic for another post.

If that sounds harsh and callous so be it.

Written by DCL

May 24, 2020 at 11:21 am

Posted in Health, News

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