Sacrifice Now Will Save Lives Later

The flu bug is relentless. There seems to be no stopping the pandemic based upon recent increases in new cases. It’s time for our leaders and citizens to accept that the flu is still a dangerous and existential threat, and to be in crowded places with or without a mask and close to others is foolhardy. It may take longer than expected to silence this menace. Unfortunately Americans are not the most patient lot.

But, cabin fever is overwhelming many. Young and old people are restless and bored. The need to socialize has stirred Americans, and made some careless. They want to go out on the town, drink, dance and talk face-to-face with friends. The problem with all this is that it’s spreading the virus and people are dying unnecessarily. Some Americans are either selfish and/or ignorant.

We also need to decrease the number of new cases before the fall so our children will not be in any danger when they go back to school. And we need to protect older, more susceptible family members and and neighbors.

Similarly, corporations and small businesses are champing at the bit to get their people back on the job. But to do it too early, especially in urban environments, could be a deadly mistake. Why would any CEO unnecessarily put his or her employees in harm’s way if work can be done efficiently from home?

By disregarding the risk that still exists from the pandemic, more people are going to get sick. There will be more suffering and continued calls for isolation. Hopefully, this will not lead to more deaths.

On the last item, I’ve seen little in the press that tells us whether new cases are, in fact, resulting from more testing. I’m not endorsing Trump’s ridiculous comments about the virus or his unsubstantiated optimism. But if you test more, more cases will be found, especially if many are asymptomatic. We need accurate and transparent accounting.

Another stat that is similarly underreported by the press is the number of new deaths. Are they increasing or not? Are young people without pre-existing condition dying? Or do we have to accept that a lot more people will contract the virus, as has been the case with less virulent flus over the years.

I believe it’s true that if young people get the virus, very few will perish. However, vulnerable individuals who come into contact with sick young ones are in serious jeopardy.

Why can’t the greatest country in the world accurately track the stats of a disease and inform the public about what’s at stake? Are we being shielded from the truth? Are we too stupid or immature to handle the reality of this disease? Is there a conspiracy to dole out information in a way that benefits one presidential candidate over the other? Conspiracy theories will abound.

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