This is a vary narrow take on the reopening debate. It's narrow for a reason. The debate over lockdown vs. reopening has reached peak stupidity.
America needs simplicity and logic.
On one side of the debate: the wealthy, the idle rich, those paralyzed by fear, and many zealous Democrats who believe a prolonged shutdown hurts the current administration. On the other side: small business owners, "non-essential" workers, service industry workers, retail employees, and many Republicans of all socioeconomic status who understand math.
Caught in the middle: President Trump. He knows that we need to reopen. Last week, he presented a 3-phase plan that was impeccable. Thoughtful, full of common sense, and easy to understand. The media yawned and returned to their infuriating blame game.
Trump knows that the slightest spike in new coronavirus cases will give the left the chance to scream "Blood on your hands!" He has to thread the needle perfectly or risk losing independent voters in seven months.
As I've written before, in terms of fatality rates, yes, it's "just the flu, bro"--but only after the unprecedented mitigation that the U.S. (and much of the world) has thrown at the coronavirus. The origin of the virus was almost certainly the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the consensus that it was released intentionally (as opposed to leaking out on a shoe sole, or via a careless staffer) is growing by the day.
Stories abound concerning the possible long term effects of the virus. Reinfection. Permanent damage to lungs and liver. Do I believe all of them? No. I think much of the guesswork science--and worse, propaganda science--emanating from the press lately is scaremongering. But I'd hate to be wrong. If the virus was indeed man-made, created in a lab in communist China, I sure as hell don't want to play host to it.
But this isn't an origin article, or a pro-chloroquine article. This is about putting America back to work now--safely.
Protesters who want to reopen: I admire you. The moment there's a protest near me, I'll be there. In my NRA cap, and sporting a "Save the Electoral College" t-shirt I got at CPAC. I'll also be wearing an N95 mask.
Why? Because it's easy. It doesn't infringe on my rights. And it might be the difference between getting sick or not.
Every time an unmasked protester is in public, waving a flag and chanting slogans, he's gifting ammunition to the left. Look at this idiot, they say. He's gonna kill us all! Or just as awful, I hope he gets sick and infects all his Trumptard friends!
Yes, it's a screeching lefty reaction, but there's a kernel of truth within. While the virus is still present in meaningful numbers, it's irresponsible to flaunt the CDC guidance: if you're within 6 feet (other studies say 10-12 feet) of someone not from your household, you should cover your mouth (and nose, Schumer!) with a mask, or failing that, other approved cloth coverings.
Why not do it? Many of us shop in masks. We can get back to work wearing masks. At least till the virus passes. Short of that, the Dem chorus of Cases spiked because people didn't listen! will only grow. It doesn't matter to desperate mass media if it's after voting in Wisconsin or following a rally in Kentucky, they'll zero in on it.
Even if the stats are padded with "probable cases," they'll report it.
"But there are virtually no cases in my state, I'm not wearing a stupid mask, it's illogical," some say. And I appreciate that. Still, why give the virus a chance? Why give the other side even the remotest chance to say I told you so?
We need to rise above the illogical depths of this debate. I get how it happens--an opponent says to do something, and the natural reaction is to do the opposite. And much of what this crisis has wrought is unconstitutional. Parents with their kids harassed in public spaces? Spaces funded by taxpayers? U.S. citizens arrested while self-distancing in nature--a beach, an empty park? Unforgivable.
But not wearing a mask to own the virus? That's shortsighted. Let the left continue to look ridiculous with their emotion-driven responses. Conservatives have to rise above the bickering and take the lead. Not recklessly. By demonstrating our values and rationality.
We should become the party of responsibility and lead the way. The way back to work. Safely, conscientiously. A sober, resolute reopening. Let's show them how it can be done.
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