Now that our leaders have completely shut down the country, we need to start thinking about getting ourselves back to some representation of normality, socially and economically. The big risk is a recurrence of the pandemic and/or infections infiltrating the US from foreign countries.
The data being received about the danger of the virus has been incomplete and tardy. The president, governors and mayors are saying they want to restart the economy, but do the experts have what they need to help our leaders make good decision. What does it mean to restart the economy? To a great extent Americans must end their isolation and begin to interact with family, fellow workers, people in stores and restaurants, at sporting events, etc. Exacerbating the situation is that some data that would be useful to the experts and to all Americans has not been showcased. See the other blog I posted today for an example of this unfortunate phenomenon.
This is a risky proposition. We’ve been told that social distancing, isolation and good sanitary habits are the only way to defeat the coronavirus. And now we will be asked to re-congregate with other Americans even though some may be infected with the virus.
The other side of the coin is equally disconcerting. If we delay the process of revving up our economy, which would entail Americans being close to other Americans, people will likely starve, some will lose homes and some will become destitute. The risks affiliated with not being social as we were before all this craziness began is as great as the perils associated with remaining dormant economically in an effort to fight the disease.
To be more specific, unemployment is supposedly going to reach double digit figures. Every day more people are being furloughed, mortgages are not being paid, individuals have less and less money to buy food and so on. The government cannot provide for a hundred million people without sustaining a shortage of funds for other necessary services.
So, as I see it, isolation must end soon, but how will mothers react to sending their children to school? How effective will we respond at work if we are frightened that an officemate might infect us with the virus? Would we even consider going to a restaurant with friends and family like we did a few months ago? And what about baseball games, concerts and ballet? No, Americans are going to tread lightly, and all these events where people congregate will suffer for many more months to come regardless of urgings from our leaders.
Getting back to work will be a colossal undertaking. Employees will be concerned with their safety, while employers won’t want to endanger those that work for them. We must be diligent and patient about getting back to the norm, or it all could spin out of control once again.