The COVID-19 pandemic is so bad now that it is impossible to test and trace its spread, as some countries were able to do early on to knock it out. The number of new cases is growing so fast in some states that even if the US government tried to increase testing and employ people to trace the contacts the new victims had, they could not hire them anywhere near fast enough.
And, of course, the Pretend President still refuses to ramp up our nation’s capacity to carry out that or any other effective strategy. We cannot effectively carry out the test-trace-quarantine strategy until the rate of new cases is much lower.
That can only happen if most people do not have direct contact with others outside their own home for at least two or three weeks, long enough to cut off the infection vectors so that the outstanding viruses simply die for lack of new hosts. Unfortunately, the only way to stop the spread now is very disruptive to the economy. But, then, the prospect of hundreds of thousands of deaths and damaged people may disrupt the economy even more. Meanwhile, the hospitals are overflowing.
A Clear and Present Danger to National Health
That is why we must “bite the bullet” now and carry out a nationwide mandate to stay home and if you must go out (and that means actual necessity) wear a mask and maintain more than 6 feet of physical distance from anyone who is not a member of your immediate household. But in the absence of national leadership that is very difficult to do.
Only after more than a month of very restricted social contact can the virus be cut off from its means of transmission enough to stop it in its tracks. Only when the numbers have come down enough to execute the test-and-trace procedures that every epidemiologist not politically silenced knows can fully control its spread, will we once again be safe. That is what New Zealand did at the outset, and they now have zero new cases.
Yes, I know. You don’t like the inconvenience and costs of a stay-at-home lockdown. Neither do I. But, really, folks, let’s get real about this clear and present danger to our health and our lives! Medical researchers are discovering that the health effects of infection by this virus are far more complex and dangerous than they thought at first. The damage reaches far beyond the lungs. Autopsies of dead victims have revealed widespread small blood clots that damage other vital organs. Survivors have reported continued ill-health effects of the disease many weeks after “recovery.”
A National Failure and the Libertarian Losers
Too many Americans live in a cultural bubble in which they assert a delusional right to absolute liberty. The imaginary assertion that my freedom has nothing to do with any damage it may cause you, or with my responsibility as a citizen, has to go. It is plainly absurd. When your behavior threatens my health and my life, your ‘liberty’ ends. Your juvenile assertion of irresponsibility threatens my right to life and liberty. So get over your political paranoia, conspiracy theories, and magical thinking, rein in that ego, hunker down, and do what you know is right for all of us. Stop your infantile display of military weapons in response to calls for civic responsibility.
This is a matter of facts and biochemical reality, not a political preference or ‘consumer choice,’ unless you want to risk permanent disabilities or death for you or your loved ones, as well as for me. Your right to ‘liberty’ stops when it threatens my life.
Get real, America! What about that old can-do spirit and the mutual support that gave us victory during WWII? In the last half-century, our impoverished industrial-consumer culture has turned too many Americans into spoiled consumers who seem to think that liberty comes without responsibility. Such utopian illusions now threaten the health and safety of the nation. They create the useful idiots that every tyranny needs.
Tyranny or Responsibility
It is time to abandon your subservience to the demagoguery of the failing narcissist who is so skilled at pressing your buttons, but who could not muster a speck of compassion for you or any other human being. Now, he is even trying to block funding for testing, to which an open letter from the National Acadamy of Sciences objects. In that absolute vacuum of federal leadership, it is now up to state, county, municipal officials, and citizens to band together in cooperative agreements to take on the public responsibility we all need for our health and our lives.
Now, the only viable course of action seems to be a combination of personal discipline and smart cooperation among those governors and mayors who have the cojones to defy the false authority of the Sociopath in Chief. Because the virus knows no political boundaries, the mutual aid must become nearly universal.
Every community has the inherent right to protect itself from danger, whether from a wildly spreading virus or from unidentified secret police who grab people off the streets and throw them in unmarked cars, detaining them without probable cause in blatant violation of our Constitution. Tyranny always engenders resistance. Are we a nation that honors true liberty by also honoring the responsibilities that protect us from the tyranny of viruses and demagogues? Or are we a bunch of fearful supplicants who hang on every absurd claim of a deranged dictator?