August 19, 2020
Is There a Grown-up in the House?
- We are essentially at war over scraps of fabric.
- We are not only living up to the ugly American stereotype, we are surpassing it with leaps and bounds.
- Half measures are frustrating for everybody.
There are several ways we have failed miserably at containing the spread of COVID-19. Our leadership is not cohesive. The mandates we do have are coming from states, counties, and cities. Unfortunately, this means that we are not acting in agreement. We are essentially at war over scraps of fabric. And that is not a good look. We are not only living up to the ugly American stereotype, we are surpassing it with leaps and bounds. We have to do better.
It is up to us to put pressure on our elected officials to do everything in their power to unite us on this issue, legally, geographically, and, if not idealistically, then at least practically. Enough so that functioning as a whole is possible. Because we are not even close. We see ebbs and flows across various states as their mandates change, or their tourist seasons begin and end. The rules we are relying on to keep us safe are only selectively being enforced, and that has to change if we are to succeed in controlling this virus.
While there are certainly leaders stepping up for their constituents, even those that are doing well cannot expand the reach of their successes because we are making no effort to deal with this pandemic as a whole. We will not eradicate COVID if, while the numbers are falling in one state, they are rising in the state next door because protocols in the two states differ. That’s not getting rid of the virus, that’s encouraging it to travel.
We need to listen to scientists, those specializing in the appropriate fields, and our leaders need to heed their expert opinions, rather than prioritizing their own. This is something we must insist on. This abominable trend of not trusting experts, whether due to the Dunning-Kruger effect or an unfortunate fascination with conspiracy is going to be the death of us all. If only that were hyperbole.
Everyone wants this to be over. Cooperation and a science-based coordinated effort might yield results such as those seen in New Zealand, perhaps we should give that a go. Although it should be noted that a new cluster of cases has come to light recently after an extended period of no new infections. Officials believe there was a lapse of some sort at the border resulting in the new bout of infection. The moral of that sad story is that it’s best to err on the side of caution when dealing with an infectious, deadly disease.
If we had locked down fully at the beginning of the outbreak, we would be a lot closer to enjoying normality right now. Half measures are frustrating for everybody. They certainly are for those of us who would have stayed home with the windows shut tight for two months without so much as a quibble because we would be in a better situation now. But I’m sure half-measures are also frustrating for those who don’t really think it’s such a big deal, but who are following mandates. I imagine they are seeing the sacrifice to benefit ratio as unequal. So, let’s sacrifice a little more, in efforts to reap the benefit we actually want.
We need cohesion in action to eradicate COVID-19. We must embrace acting as one on a personal level, and demand it from our representatives on a Federal level. We need the national equivalent of the workplace bulletin board. We need to be on the same page.