Today at work since I had nothing to do, I started thinking about this pandemic and how quick it has been for local and state governments to shut down our economy and our freedoms.
(Side note: Our city building is closed to the public so it’s just employees. My boss is doing the AM shift and I’m working my regular afternoon shift so we aren’t in the office together. We are practicing that “social distancing.”)
Why is it NOW that we have had such a dramatic reaction to the Wuhan virus? Is it really going to be much worse than SARS, MERS or any other virus we’ve faced throughout the world? Are we going to end up with thousands of deaths like Italy? Has the media hysteria frightened people to panic?
I guess the “experts” know best by ordering “shelter in place” and the shutdown of thousands and thousands of businesses. Why can’t we just quarantine the most vulnerable (except the homeless and inmates, of course), postpone large public gatherings, and recommend some higher level of hygiene?
It is understandable that we need to be aware of the public’s safety and control this virus yet are we not a country with inherent freedoms such as economic pursuit and that of movement?
There’s risk and reward for living a life of freedom and I’m wondering if the risk of shutting down our economy is worth more than the anticipated reward (“flattening the curve”).
In America, you are free to pursue the job of your dreams or start your own business. Imagine the government comes in and demands to shut down your employer or business for public safety. You are now forcibly being robbed of your economic freedoms. Does that not make you some form of an economic slave of the government?
You can’t shut down businesses and expect them to re-open with their regular customers. Those customers have now lost their jobs and will not have any disposable income to spend once the economy is back open for business. That “social distancing” will be long gone when unemployment has reached massive levels.
The “shelter in place” order also has an effect on our freedom to move throughout this country. What will be the psychological and future effects on our interpretation of “freedom of movement” when this finally comes to an end? How many people will suffer depression during their self quarantine and end up costing thousands in the medical field or commit suicide?
I also believe this reaction sets a bad example for our enemies who want to inflict some form of bioterrorism upon us. They now know how easy it would be to cause a panic and economic shutdown of this country. Just. Like. That.
Just some of my random thoughts. There are many differing opinions as to how best to handle this and I am no expert on this, by any means. I just have a terrible feeling that the coming economic result of this is going to be devastating for many, many Americans. Only time will tell if the reaction offered more reward than risk.