Forest and Trees

Dr. Osterholm dares to suggest that another shutdown is advised and financially feasible, but then takes it back. Why does he need to backtrack on something that, while being brutally honest, still needs to be heard? He’s the one who’s been giving it to us straight this whole time. He hasn’t been blowing smoke or, for the most part, weighing his words. He’s been the prophet saying the hard things.

Seems like the choice we have is pretty straightforward—if we sincerely want to put a dent in the spread, if we really do want that– especially in the midst of what’s currently unfolding– then we commit to shutting things down, minimize circulation, bite the bullet and get through 6 weeks of legitimate quarantining, like we should have done back in March. Even if this means staying put for the holidays.

No more half-hearted measures, no more bended knee to those who just don’t want to make the “excessive and oppressive” (or laughably simple) sacrifices of wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance. And we do these things for no other reason than it takes some of the pressure off our overwhelmed healthcare system and the exhausted staffs.

If we’re going to aquiesce, there’s no shame in it being to a dangerous microscopic virus that spreads like wildfire when people are being careless and stupid. Down the road, when we look back on all this, we might wish we had not tried to carry on as if everything was normal.

Of course, others will look back and say, “We carried on despite the challenges, we soldiered through, we rose above…” And they will be proud. But what will have been proven? The indomitable, American can-do spirit? Meh. It’s been less about that and more about stemming the financial losses. Let’s leave the real heroics to the vaccine researchers and the many doctors, nurses, EMTs, police officers, firefighters, teachers, nursing home caregivers, poll workers, stay-at-home parents, grocery store employees, and everyone who’s been checking on their neighbors. And not just here, but around the world.

I don’t feel like we have anything to prove. Sure, we’re getting our asses kicked by something we can’t even see, and we’re having trouble dealing with that. But we’ve never really put forth the effort needed to nip this in the bud.

This isn’t a battle we win by being stubborn and ignorant and faux patriotic and taking the advice(?) of Donald Trump and Mike Pence and an underqualified neuroradiologist crony and quack, who at this point don’t care anymore, anyway, if they ever did.

Patience is a virtue, the order of the day. And some help from Uncle Sam wouldn’t hurt, either.

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