It was bound to happen: American citizens, frustrated by the length of the lockdown from the coronavirus, agitating for a total return to normal. The trouble, as BoomerCafé’s co-founder and executive editor Greg Dobbs writes in this Boomer Opinion piece, they want to play Russian Roulette, and force the rest of us to play it too.
Is it a year ago now, or just a little more than a month but it feels kind of like a year, that so many of us thought this whole coronavirus crisis— the extraordinary lengths to which we’d go for personal protection, the extraordinary losses our economy would suffer, the extraordinary toll of fatalities— would last for two weeks, maybe four weeks max?
Now, we are well past the one-month mark, and studies show that most of us are doing a pretty good job of sheltering-in-place, but we still haven’t fully flattened the curve. Yet some Americans arbitrarily have decided, that’s long enough, and have agitated to lift all the restrictions. As if it’s better to dig more graves in our cemeteries than to dig more dollars from our wallets. One thing they might be overlooking: an economy can’t get healthy if its people stay sick.
Of course, how would they know any better when their president inflates their ignorance with inflammatory tweets to “LIBERATE” their states? Should we expect critical thinking from people for whom this president can do no wrong?
These are citizens who kept their mouths shut earlier this month when President Trump said of his own presidential power, “The authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be.” Just imagine if, in his quest to have his way, President Obama had said anything even remotely similar. Trump’s disciples would have rammed their way through the White House gates.
So, note to these protesting patriots: America’s death toll just a week ago— and these are only the deaths recorded in hospitals and nursing homes; they don’t even include people who died in their own homes— was 30,000. Today, just one week later, we’re pushing north of 50,000.
Comparisons can be useful, if the comparison is a cudgel. If a hundred fully-packed 747s went down all in the space of a few weeks, it would mean about 50,000 lives lost. And here’s an even more shocking comparison: more than 58,000 Americans died during the eight years of the war in Vietnam. We’ll reach that nasty number, from coronavirus, just another week from now.
One of the protestors’ signs last weekend demanded “Facts, Not Fear.” Those are facts. Another proclaimed, “Jesus is my vaccine.” But here’s some sorry news: for 50,000 Americans and roughly 200,000 people worldwide, the vaccine hasn’t worked.
These protestors complain that by being forced to shelter in place, their rights have been trampled. Well, here’s more news, about one right they certainly haven’t lost: they have the right to play Russian Roulette with their lives, if they sit at home and do it in private. But polls show that most of us— and by “most,” I mean it’s not even close— don’t believe it’s safe yet for all the restrictions to be lifted. One right the protestors don’t have is to force the rest of us to play their deadly game.