From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “It’s our innate tendency to only act when we’re face to face with danger, rather than to try a preventive approach.” (From Voices of Youth)
The situation that we all face currently in the danger that the COVID-19 virus poses is not necessarily one for which there was much of a preventative approach, but it is one that we could have been better prepared for as a nation. The Stay at Home measures in place now are about as preventative as we can get at this time, and they are in place just to slow down the spread of the disease before it overwhelms our health care system.
The lack of leadership in Washington just exacerbated the fact that we were unprepared. The so-called National Stockpile of ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment was exhausted rapidly and even states that had emergency plans in place had grossly underestimated the scope and impact of even their worst case scenarios. For the most part the country rose to the occasion, with most state governors issuing executive orders to stay at home to reduce the spread of the virus.
Those who would act to reopen the economy before we have this pandemic under control and a vaccine in place pose the danger now. The pandemic of 1918 actually killed more people in its second wave in the U.S. than it did initially. You can Google that pandemic to read about it. It is the consensus opinion of our best medical professionals and scientists that we are not yet at the point where states can reopen for business, yet the governors of a few states have bowed to political pressure to restart the economies in their states, not matter what the cost in human lives. There is no way to even imagine businesses and people being disciplined enough to enforce the needed social distancing and personal Protective Equipment use to prevent a second wave from developing in those states.
The almost certain apology, “Gee, I guess I was wrong about that”, has already been used by the Mayor of New Orleans and will be of little comfort to those who lose family and friends because of this lack of the political will to do what is right. Even many of the business owners in those states say that they may not reopen just because the state governor says it is OK to do so. They have more sense than to put their employees at risk.
What can we do as individuals? For one we can show support for the courage that the leaders who put the Stay at Home orders in place, instead of engaging in noisy and dangerous public protests. Use safe means, such as emails, to let those governors no that you agree with their decision and continue to support it and them. Then, do your part by continuing to observe the orders, practicing safe social distancing, and wearing personal protection when you have to go out in public.
Stay Home! Stay Safe!