It’s too soon folks

Published 3:18 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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I realize this virus has split us. It seems that about half the people think the economy will destroy more lives than the virus will, and the other half think the virus will kill too many if we open things back up.

The reporter in me sees both sides, but I’ve just done too much research on what the virus has done both in the United States and other countries, as well as other pandemics in history to think we are ready to just go back out there.

One of my favorite things I’ve seen on social media the last week says opening things back up now is like not taking all of your antibiotics because you start to feel a little better.

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Look at the numbers. We are not doing as well as I would like to see, certainly not as well as other countries, but it would be much worse if we hadn’t done what we have done so far. I think we should do more to stop the spread, actually and that certainly doesn’t mean to open things back up. Let’s at least get more testing first to see what the more accurate numbers are, because believe me, there are many more people who have had it than we know.

We don’t have enough tests. That’s a fact. Any healthcare professional will tell you that. We don’t have enough hospital beds for a big wave to hit us. Healthcare professionals, both locally and nationally, warn that if we open things back up, spread will occur. Very probably a mass spread will occur that will be more than our hospitals can handle.

As we know from history, the government did similar measures during the Spanish Flu of 1918. Churches, theaters and all gatherings of 10 or more people were banned. It’s very similar now, except big box stores like Walmart and Lowes did not exist back then. Nor did they have Spring Break parties on the beaches. What happened in 1918 was they practiced stay at home measures, then that November, they opened things back up. And guess what happened? The second wave was worse than the first and killed far more people.

Even before November, Philadelphia ended its quarantine early and held a parade in September. Guess what happened then? Within days, every hospital bed was full and many, many people died.

I realize that people are suffering not working and the government does not have it right by any means. Allowing some businesses to remain open and others forced to close does not make sense to any of us; I get it. I realize that unemployment is definitely not working for many and help to small businesses is flawed. I think while we are staying at home and not spreading the virus, maybe the government can work on helping people who are not able to work.

But we are almost there, folks. Why would we change anything now when the numbers are not going down and we still don’t have enough testing, still no treatment and still no vaccine?

I would just hate to see us stay away from all the things we love for this long and jump the gun and have to do this all over again come June. And the next time I’m afraid it will be for much longer and even more people will die.

My favorite meme about the virus is one that says, “It’s amazing how badly we’re screwing up an apocalypse on the easy setting. We’re clearly not ready for zombies or aliens.”

That’s exactly how I feel. We haven’t even gotten the first stay-at-home order right. Why do we think we will do better during a second, even worse one?