I’m reluctant to criticize any public official who did what they thought right during the COVID-19 pandemic. It hit us from left field, it was mysterious and it most definitely was not a hoax.
But there must be a time when we review how we handled it all. We suspended our “inalienable” civil rights without much of a discussion. We banned worship services, weddings, funerals and forced people to leave their mortal coil without a last face-to-face goodbye from loved ones.
Big sacrifices, for sure.
In the name of the pandemic, we wounded the economy. Literally, the state put a large percentage of small shops out of businesses. Many big businesses were shoved into bankruptcy. People lost their livelihoods.
It’s time to step back and make some judgments. Here are a few places to start.
On May 18, a New York Times columnist pointed out that coronavirus cases in New York City probably peaked before the state lockdown began on March 22. So, if the spread there was slowing before the lockdown, was a lockdown necessary?
The way a lockdown should work, epidemiologists told us, is once implemented we should see a pronounced drop in new infections on day one. On day six of the lockdown we should see people with symptoms plummet and by about day ten we should have seen fewer people heading to the doctor with symptoms.
The puzzling thing is that didn’t happen. As the New York Times pointed out (but did little follow-up) the virus had already peaked before the lockdown.
We gotta take a look at that and understand why. And, we must at least be open to the idea that lockdowns did not achieve the results promised.
Yes, these are inconvenient questions. But, they are critical questions. I fear if we don’t ask them, we’ll blindly enact spirit-numbing, economy-killing lockdowns well into 2021.
On the American cultural front comes the news that the NBA finals tanked in terms of TV ratings amid the high-pitched social justice messaging on the court. That will change next year, says the NBA boss Adam Silver:
“I would say, in terms of the messages you see on the court and the jerseys, this was an extraordinary moment in time when we began these discussions with the players and what we all lived through this summer. My sense is there’ll be somewhat a return to normalcy, that those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor. And, I understand those people who are saying, ‘I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game.”
ONE MORE THING
— Vegan horror tales: I pick fresh vegetables every day. Then I feed them to the pig who converts them into bacon.
— I came, I saw, I forgot what I was doing, retraced my steps and got distracted on my way back. I have no idea what’s going on … and now I have to pee.
— Why did the cowboy get a Dachshund? Someone told him to get a long little doggy.
And with that, I’ll pick up my knitting and let myself out. Stay safe. Mask up.
Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, a journalist-based, family-owned company dedicated to the preservation of intensely local community newspapers, such as this one. You can follow him for his daily musings on Facebook at facebook.com/sherm.frederick/. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)