We are past the peak of the Coronavirus as of the 15th of April. At this point, we will be criticized for every choice we make. We were told to close our businesses and stay home. We were told that we needed to avoid crowds in order to reduce the spread of the disease, and so reduce the demand on critical healthcare resources. That may have been true, or it may have been false. What is true today? Is more forced isolation better for everyone, or is it time to let people decide for themselves what they should do?
One simple solution will not fit everyone. What is best for Brooklyn, New York isn’t best practice for Hinsdale County, Colorado. The infection rates for the coronavirus vary widely across the USA. Some counties are asking for more resources while other locations are wondering what the Wuhan flu looks like. It is always true that a longer quarantine will reduce the spread of the virus. It is equally true that quarantine will cost us our jobs, our wealth, and our health. By every measure, the risks are not spread evenly.
Staying home isn’t a big deal if you’re a retired billionaire living on your private beach. Being cut off from your job is a huge blow to younger people who are living paycheck to paycheck. We can give these needy people money for food and rent, but that won’t give them their life back if we kill the economy and their jobs. Lives are at stake in either decision. They always were.
Getting the Wuhan flu isn’t a big issue if you’re young and healthy. In contrast, the flu could be a death sentence for a cancer patient or an older person who is overweight and has emphysema. Should we sacrifice the lives of our young people by keeping them unemployed in order to save someone else? Fortunately, that isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a politician’s choice.
It is your life to live. It has always been dangerous to get out of bed. Go to work if you think it is worth the risk. We’ll try to help you if you stay home, but it is your life and your choice.
It is always dangerous to leave your home. Stay at home behind your locked door if you want to avoid contact with other people. Again, it is your life and your choice.
Some vulnerable people will get sick and die. So will some young people who appeared perfectly healthy. Life doesn’t come with a guarantee. The best we can do is make wise choices.
There is no option where everybody lives happily ever after.
That is a fairytale. Don’t hand your future
to people who confuse real life with fairytales.
The odd thing about an epidemic is that our actions will affect others. Stay home if you’re sick, and please stay there until you’re safe to be around. If you’re unsure, then please wear a mask so you don’t inadvertently pass on the virus. Courtesy is always a good choice.
You might not know what to do. No matter how smart I might be, I don’t know what you should do either. I do know this. You are the best person to make choices for you because you have the best information and incentives for your situation. You will bear the benefits and are in the best position to know the costs. Don’t believe a politician who tells you otherwise.
What we should not do is order other people how to live their lives.
We’ve already had too much of that.
These unusual situations are like a magical magnifying glass that lets us see into people’s soul. Some government officials yearn to exercise their control over us. These politicians confessed as much by what they did during the epidemic, and the Wuhan flu was only their latest justification. These public figures are the worst people we could allow to have power over anyone. They were put in office to preserve our rights rather than violate them. Never forget who robbed you of your choices.
I’m glad that we’re past this peak. Take good care of yourself and those you love. Please enjoy your freedom, and spend it wisely.