I think it is fair to say that this coronavirus situation caught most of us by surprise. While we may have seen it coming by watching the story develop in China and Italy, none of us really knew how it would affect America.
In March, the White House put out a document titled “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” This document put forth guidelines that were aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines focused on what is widely understood as mitigation. Most governors then took it upon themselves to order their states to shut down in order to aid in slowing the spread.
Restaurants and theaters closed, and sporting events and church services came to a halt. For several weeks, we’ve only seen grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores open. According to doctors, reducing gatherings of large groups in restaurants and retail stores was supposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
One of the major selling points behind these efforts was that if we didn’t take extreme measures, then our hospitals would become overwhelmed and people would die in the hallways or even in the parking lots because there wouldn’t be room to treat them. Nor would there be enough ventilators. That’s what we were told. Now the use of ventilators is in question, but that’s a separate topic. I bought into this point. As any good American would do, I thought to myself that we should take various mitigation efforts in order to ensure our hospital systems aren’t overwhelmed. I don’t regret participating in a few weeks of mitigation.
Fortunately, none of this came to pass. Even in hard hit New York City, not one patient is reported to have gone without care or a ventilator if needed. This is good news.
Now that the doomsday scenarios haven’t come to fruition, it’s time to reopen America and allow people to earn a living again.
Not so fast. Now various elected officials and medical experts are talking about stopping the spread of COVID-19. Did you see what happened there? We went from “slow the spread” to “stop the spread.” The only problem here is that there’s no such thing as stopping an upper respiratory virus from spreading. This is an unattainable goal.
Our country thrives on human-to-human interaction. We interact with family at home; we go to work, church, and all kinds of social gatherings on a weekly basis. We are a people that thrive on interaction with our fellow citizens.
A recent three-day survey of New York hospitals showed that 66% of hospitalizations were from patients who had been sheltered at home for a significant amount of time. Meaning, they weren’t participating in large gatherings or interacting with various people and still became infected.
This brings into question how good is it for us to sit at home all day?
Some of our elected officials have moved the goalpost and set an unreachable marker. The coronavirus will continue to spread and make its way through the U.S. population no matter what we do. Our hospitals have plenty of capacity, and our medical supply chain is secure.
There is absolutely no logical reason to keep America shut down any longer. America’s governors and mayors, it is time to reopen America.