Opinion: Is the Cure for This Pandemic Worse than the Disease?
I heard a woman who owns and operates a small business say, "I'm not afraid of losing my life. I'm afraid of losing the life I've built."
If you're a small business owner (and small businesses employ the majority of Americans) you know exactly what she means.
The rest of us may work for larger corporations or a government entity, and the current crisis is not as desperate. We may all be wary of the new virus sweeping the globe, but the "cure" for its spread is far worse than the illness.
Now for the people that have lost loved ones, that's certainly not the case. Nothing can replace the life lost of a cherished loved one, but for those of us who will survive and be left to pick up the pieces, life will be harder. None of the people who've perished from this would want the ones they left behind to suffer or struggle.
Almost no one who has made up their mind about whether our current course of action to quarantine society will have their mind changed by this article. I wish some would at least open their minds to the possibility of alternatives. But the world we live in now in America doesn't allow for much of that on just about any topic. A lot of it can be traced to many of us digging in on political grounds. If you hate President Donald Trump, you want chaos and a disruption in the prosperity we were enjoying. That's scary. It's almost like you have to root for death and devastation to prove your point. That's even scarier. We need common sense solutions and wisdom to get through this. Both commodities are as in scarce supply as toilet paper these days.
From the beginning of this shutdown, I've said the cure is worse than the disease. I heard Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy say in an interview the other day, "Trying to burn down the village to save it is foolish." A renowned epidemiologist said by flattening the curve" we're lengthening the curve and the time it will take for this virus to go away.
He recommends sheltering and protecting the vulnerable, preparing hospitals for a surge and letting the population develop a herd immunity naturally. 85% percent of the people who contract COVID-19 have little or no symptoms. And of course massive screening and testing will go a long way to solving the crisis. Hopefully we're getting close to that point.
Some say that the death rate from this is far worse than the seasonal flu, even though nationally we're not at the number of deaths from flu and pneumonia that we reached three years ago. Many of the reported deaths are credited to COVID-19 when they may not be the direct cause of death. Now that we're getting more people tested, some estimates put the death rate much lower. Early estimates had the death rate between 2 to 4 percent of people testing positive. More recent data suggests it is less than 0.05 percent of all people with the virus — less than the annual flu. So why all of the hysteria?
You can read one argument here if you want to consider the possibility that the "experts" got it wrong. The models they were using got it wrong from the very beginning. I'm sure they weren't trying to get it wrong and their intentions were good and of course they were acting "out of an abundance of caution".
That abundance of caution put into public policy has wreaked havoc on our society and our world. I certainly hope we can soon pick up the pieces of the destruction we have brought on our selves in an effort to be safe. Ben Franklin once said "those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety." We are living that moment right now.
Some people drove to Trenton on Friday to protest. Many of our listeners were in support of them and some denounced them as "nutjobs." It was said that if they get their way to open things up, many more people would die. I wonder if the people who revolted against Great Britain to fight for our independence had been convinced of that, would we have ever been able to live in the greatest country in the history of mankind. Many people died for liberty in that fight, but all of us would have to agree that we admire their courage and it certainly was worth the effort.