How to restart the economy? First it has never been stopped. The measures we have adopted are intended to slow the spread of the virus, not to defeat it. We don’t have the will to adopt the more extreme measures that appear to have been effective overseas. Our policies are predicated on the assumption that the vulnerable among us may die.
- Essential workers continue to work, many in jobs that bring them into close contact with the public.
- Essential workers lack protective supplies.
- There are scofflaws, those who ignore the guidelines.
- Several states continue to ignore the danger.
Restrictions are necessary, but are discriminatory:
- Some can afford a loss of income, others can’t.
- Some must work, some are prohibited from working.
- Those who didn’t file a tax return with a bank account identified will have to fight for a stimulus payment.
- Businesses (restaurants, hotels, retail stores) forced to close may fail.
Restrictions are intended to slow the spread of disease; they may be working. Slowing the spread of the disease relieves pressure on hospitals and funeral homes; it does little for vulnerable individuals–we will need to exercise caution until there is a prevention or cure. Any action to allow more social interaction puts many of us at risk of death.
It is a dilemma:
- Letting some go back to work and prohibiting others from doing so is unfair.
- Removing restrictions on some parts of the country and not on others is unfair.
- Restricting some businesses but not their competitors is unfair.
I don’t know what will happen, but there will be winners and losers whatever it is. Will we strive for the greatest good, or will the voices of lobbyists prevail?