The line is blurred and seems to be moving daily. It’s subject to interpretation, and everyone has an opinion. Yet no politician at any level of government has answered this with precision: Where is the line between public safety and government overreach? And what death rate is acceptable? For your consideration:
The dictionary defines “essential” as something that is necessary, important and not optional. So why is the pot shop open and my church closed? Why is a hip replacement not considered essential but getting an abortion is? Getting a haircut may not sound “essential”, but I bet it is to the person whose livelihood depends on providing that service. Politicians all over the country have inconsistently determined what is essential. It is obvious that they are making this up as they go along. OK, maybe they deserve some slack since this is new to all of us. But maybe the public needs some slack too since it is not the politicians who are hurting because of the corona virus lockdown, but millions of workers and business owners. As politicians become more draconian with their decisions, the public becomes more wary of our leaders ability to balance public health and government overreach. You hear a lot about “saving lives” but not a lot about saving the constitution. The experts and their models initially showed a significantly higher death rate than what has occurred, so that’s really good news. To be clear, the coronavirus can kill you, but the chances are pretty low, especially if you don’t have underlying conditions and are under 70 years old. We can’t lockdown the country until no one has the virus. That’s not realistic, so what level of coronavirus activity is acceptable?
Consider this: Grand county has had 137 people tested for the coronavirus, with 5 being positive and no deaths. The fifth positive case was not based on an actual test, but merely by a symptom diagnosis. But that’s enough “science” to extend a lockdown of vacation rentals until May 26. Officials wanted a lockdown because they didn’t want to overwhelm the county healthcare resources. There are currently zero people hospitalized in the county for coronavirus. That doesn’t sound being overwhelmed to me. Will extending the vacation rental ban actually curtail the spread of the virus? Maybe. Or maybe not. Again, they are just making it up as we go along. It seems to me that safety protocols can be implemented in a vacation house just as well as a primary residence. And yet small business owners have no chance to make up for lost income. Luckily, this is the offseason, but what happens if the ban is extended into the summer? Our leaders better have some real answers.
This is a new virus so there is a lot we don’t know about it, hence having people make it up as we go along. So consider this: Remember when on March 2 the Surgeon General told us not to wear masks because they weren’t effective, but now we are told to wear a mask, and in some places like Denver, it is now required to wear a mask in public. We are talking about non-medical masks made of cloth or even a bandana. So is it effective or not? We are relying on the experts, whose models have been wrong, so it is completely fair to question the expert’s conclusions. But consider this: White house advisor Dr. Fauci told us that the custom of shaking hands should be done away with and then a few weeks later during a Snapchat interview was asked about what people should do if they are looking for a hook-up on Tinder. He didn’t seem too worried about the consequences when he said, “If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk.” I guess when you meet your Tinder date, just greet them with a smile, but keep your hands in your pocket.
Call me cynical that I am suspicious that our leaders are desperate to “do something” because some “action” looks better then doing nothing. But there are consequences of going overboard and the actions have resulted in more people economically dependent on the government. Is it just me, or have government officials quickly and happily gotten used to their expanded authority? I think we all could agree that the government isn’t infallible, so consider this: Facebook has taken down some accounts to organize a protest of their governor’s lockdowns and restrictions. Facebook explained that this was to prevent misinformation and “events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.” Read that again. Facebook wants you to obey your government’s “guidance” and wants to curtail your first amendment right to free speech and assembly. Agree or disagree with the protestors, but it is pretty scary our tech overlord gets to decide what is “misinformation”. Sounds pretty vague and authoritarian. Imagine if Facebook was around in 1776 when England’s King George III still ruled the land.