Ok, folks. I hope you are hanging in there this Tuesday morning and have toilet paper. In Michigan we are Day One of “shelter in place” for three weeks –except for grocery stores, doctors, post office, essential stuff. We can walk the dog, but keep our distance. Probably worth the three-week try since in Michigan the cases are increasing at a pretty good clip–not like New York State, but we are up there.
I always read a variety of publications in the morning. As a Libertarian and a critical thinker, I have to read it all to see if anything is left out and/or just to see the spin. I’ve long been a social liberal (within reason–reluctantly pro-choice within the first trimester), gay rights are fine. I’d likely legalize drugs (though there are some compelling studies about marijuana and other substances and the developing brain that have me rethinking that). But I’m a fiscal conservative and no socialist. I was raised in the private sector, various parts of the construction industry, and I was also an adjunct professor for ten years at Northern Michigan University, a writer, so I’ve seen life from a lot of perspectives.
But this morning the Huffington Post ran a headline saying something to the effect that Trump blows off the well- being of the American people and threatens to open up the economy.
Good God. I am 65 years old, I have a very frail 88-year old father with Parkinson’s, COPD, on full time oxygen, heart disease, and my son has Down syndrome and a weak immune system. My husband who is laid off is 68 in May and has heart disease and high blood pressure. So there isn’t anyone more at risk than we are here. (I have no underlying disease, so I’m in the best shape).
This two weeks of trying social distancing, the steps some states have taken are worth a try, but just how LONG do they think we can completely shut down this country? We know the death rate is not very high, though quite high in my group. So the obvious solution here is that the high risk people need to be isolated and special care given to them, but the rest of folks need to plow on like they do with the flu. Or the cure will most definitely be worse than the disease here. Trump will have to balance this all and instead of even ONE time acknowledging the obvious, it’s just another chance for them to attack someone they have a visceral hatred for. It has nothing to do with the truth. Andrew Cuomo understands Trump has a whole country to deal with, and a truly difficult balancing act–his job is much different than Cuomo’s. So there are a few honest people out there and Cuomo is a patriot. His criticisms are constructive and he has the worst situation to deal with.
The congress can’t get anything passed because the Democrats have figured out that with five Republicans in isolation, they have them over a barrel and have padded this bill with a whole laundry list of liberal policies that have nothing whatsoever to do with this crisis–all while the people suffer.
The bill is going to be high enough and this has to be separated out at a time of crisis.
The very fact that the Democrats have the luxury of doing this belies the fact that the disease is really not as deadly as they want to portray–and that healthy people and especially healthy young people are mostly doing fine with it.
Here is my take on this. Continue social distancing nationwide — we need a new normal. Keep our distance, don’t shake hands, everyone should do this from now on — in some places like New York or where the virus has a foothold, some shelter in place is appropriate. Obviously people in high risk groups will have to deal differently with this for some time to come — possibly forever –since vaccines are usually about 45% effective on the flu. We may have to take care of our elderly and sick in new ways. But young healthy people are going to have to hold down the forte–certainly in areas less hit by this virus. We really need to hope therapeutics have a better outcome on this disease or people in this high risk group really will have no life as time goes on. So I am hopeful some of these drugs work as a treatment.
We have to have hope.
We need to be better prepared for the next pandemic as a nation and a world. Something that needed to happen– and clearly the world was not ready for–though Bill Gates has warned the world for years.
I’m listening to Andrew Cuomo as I write this and things look pretty dire for the east coast there. He may need 140,000 beds here at the apex. They are opening buildings and ships. They are trying new drug therapies today. He is for opening the economy but dealing with the disease in the hot spots. This makes sense, though clearly there will be a shortage of supplies, best case. He needs ventilators.
But the reality is that Trump has to do many things at one time and it would be so nice for folks to come together at a time like this. Problem-solve here folks. Don’t do or say things unless they are constructive on a national stage because we need everybody to get on this.
But here is the truth: The government can only do so much. This is a time for personal responsibility. Life probably should never return to “normal” as it was before. We need to be more careful how we live, depending on individual risk. Government is not our “parent.” And to expect that is not only wrong, it’s stupid. So I can see that in our age and risk group, we can no longer hang in crowds. Even restaurants will have to be circumspect–how crowded is it, what location, etc. Hand shaking is out, hand washing is a way of life. And for some, even more isolation will be in order. Vaccines are not that effective for these types of bugs and there will be more. No matter what they say, it just doesn’t make sense that the use of both vaccines and antibiotics wouldn’t be encouraging super bugs — natural selection and all that. Everything wants to live.
So this means personal responsibility.
But it also means compassion and a willingness to help one another. It means “constructive” cooperation and not politics as usual, folks. It means creative solutions, a new way of business as “usual.” Criticism is fine as long as it’s constructive — but that is not what has been happening in most cases.
We can do it. If we don’t turn on one another.
I’m working today. Writing.
Another post later on Cassoulet.