Science or intuition – what will we depend upon?

In a recent Corona Virus daily briefing President Trump said, in response to a question about how the decision would be made on re-opening the country, that he would depend upon science and intuition, adding – “a lot of intuition”. So our future is in the hands of a man who depends more on his “gut feel” about things and people than on any intelligent decision making process. Disappointing, but not surprising.

The decisions that must be made on relaxing the current measures to combat the virus really boil down to answering the question – How many lives are we willing to lose to keep the economy afloat. There is some number circulating in the back of POTUS’ mind of the acceptable collateral damage death toll that Americans will accept as the price for getting back to work.  

In fact, Sweden was in the news recently for having made that very decision at the start of the outbreak in their county. The government leaders in Sweden acknowledged that their decision not to impose any stay at home or social distancing mandates would come at a price in deaths – a price that they deemed to be acceptable, in order to keep the economy of Sweden running. Not every Swede agrees with that decision, just like many disagree with the stay at home mandates here .

The few scientific minds that get snippets of TV time during stories about getting America back to work have consistently warned that it will be a complex problem to solve and that acting too quickly to relax social distancing restrictions will put America at risk for a second wave of infection from the virus. Little is currently known about the virus and whether or not some level of herd immunity can be achieved from those who survived infections in the first wave. Scientific progress is being made on multiple fronts – testing, treatments and developing a vaccine – but much work remains to be done, especially to ramp up to the levels needed to insure safety – especially testing  and tracking.  The most honest answers from the scientific world start with “We just don’t know”.

So, on the one hand, we have our best ab brightest scientific minds cautioning against going too fast to reopen the country, while they work as fast as they can to find solutions to slow the rate of infections and deaths.  On the other hand, we have POTIUS going with his intuition and focusing upon reopening the country’s economy at some acceptable cost in lives. Upon which hook shall we hang the health and fate of the nation?

As I watch the posts in Facebook and elsewhere, I often see people who have been posting that this all B.S., a hoax and government overreach that it’s stealing their freedom. They quickly turn to posts of “Holy Crap, this stuff it real”, as soon as someone close to them gets it and dies. One can only assume that a number of the idiots who flaunt the rules on re-opened beaches and at large anti-government mandates rallies will soon become “Holy Crap” posters, if they live to post about it.

Now, more than ever, it is time to pray for God’s help. Pray for intelligence, patience and perseverance to prevail over frustration, stupidity and intuition.

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