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Updated: Aug 24, 2020


May 4, 2020


The madness known as “re-opening America” is continuing.


It's Monday, May 4. On Friday I wrote that I believed it was a mistake to re-open while our numbers are still rising in most parts of the country, especially those that have taken a more relaxed approach to sheltering at home.

I’d love to be wrong about this. If I am, I promise to come back here and admit it. And I can’t tell you how much I hope that day comes. In fact, shall we set a date?

Let’s say August 1. I was just reading today that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine is raising its projections for coronavirus-related fatalities. They’re estimating somewhere between 95,000 to 243,000 between now and August 1, based on our early re-opening.

At one time — who remembers this? — the experts were predicting that we would lose 100,000 to 200,000 people total. Now we’re looking at the same numeric range for a period of less than three months.

I’ve been praying since this started, praying for the world and for America. Now I’ll pray that those numbers prove to be wrong.

So far most of the scientific predictions have been right.

Strengthening the economy won't bring our virus numbers down


Even leaving aside the fantasy thinking that’s behind this rash re-opening, it’s a plan that makes no sense. We not only won’t bring our corona numbers down by trying to strengthen the economy, we also probably won’t strengthen the economy.

Yes, there are those people so antsy to get back to their lives that they’re willing to dismiss the threat — to themselves as well as to everybody else. But those people are in the minority.

Most of the people who showed up at work today, or did whatever the “re-opening” process requires of them, did so because they are broke. Or because their boss insisted, and they didn’t want to lose their jobs. Anyone who still has a job at this point has to be counting their lucky stars.


So they showed up this morning terrified of getting infected (as some of them surely will be, surely), and suffering the emotional pain of knowing that those returning to the workforce are being sacrificed for the rest of us.


Trump has said more than once, “Some people are going to have to die.” Who wants to hear that from the mouth of a President? There are so many other things he could be saying right now, things that might ease people’s fears. That could even make us feel the government is on our side.


What does it do to our collective morale when our government won't look out for us in a pandemic?

Queen Elizabeth, by contrast told the British people on April 8, “Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it … We should take comfort that while we may have still more to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.”

Of course this is a leader who lived through Nazi bombings as a teenager, and who volunteered in the Royal Military as a mechanic at the age of 18.

We could really use a speech like that about now. In fact, we could really use a leader like that.

Instead we keep getting a level of callousness from the Trump administration that leaves us stunned and gasping for air, like fish on a dry beach. Though maybe people wiser than myself would have expected it, given such stuff as the kids in cages at our southern border?

Maybe you’ve heard about these persistent reports of President Trump asking in closed meetings why the U.S. government should address the virus at all. In any way. “Let it move through,” he ’s said more than once.

Reportedly, advisors have tried to keep what happens in those meetings out of the press. But someone in the room apparently found Trump’s position disturbing enough to mention it afterward. It did get back to the press, and it’s kept circulating ever since. The Business Insider, for instance, reported on April 12 that Trump asked Dr. Fauci if it would be possible to just let the virus “wash over” the nation.

Is his indifference based on the fact that black and brown people are getting sick in greater numbers than whites? What about the high numbers of workers in meat packing plants, prisons, nursing homes?

It’s easy to believe that an administration that has been responsible for so much cruelty to other humans is untroubled by the towering numbers of deaths, and by who is doing most of the dying.

This is the kind of thing I believe is gnawing at us quietly, under the surface.

It’s devastating to know our President can’t handle a major crisis. It’s even worse knowing he doesn’t care to.













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