We must reopen the country. Because we have no other choice. To think otherwise means you genuinely believe someone or something from the government will eradicate the virus while saving your livelihood and providing security at the same time. It will not happen. It has not happened in the first six months and nothing will change. I detail below 5 reasons why America has no choice but to reopen the country immediately despite what the virus may do this summer.
State and Local Revenue Emergency
States, cities, and towns are broke. Before the pandemic they survived on slim margins. Generated by tax revenue. If they were not insolvent already. Budget woes are constant these days across America. Now after 3 months of dead stop it is a crisis situation. When people say there is no political will for additional shutdowns that is correct. Because politicians, on both sides, are close to the money. The money is telling them there is no money. On top of that, all states are paying out huge unemployment claims. Nothing will happen in Congress for state aid in the short term. Congress has proven useless. The only choice is to get back to work intelligently. There is no backup plan for states, cities, and towns in this capitalist society. The Federal Government is incapable of real help at this point. After all, they already bailed out their corporate and mega-donor interests. They done folks. This is an election year. The only choice left is to resume tax revenue at the state and local level.
Failure of Government and Scientific Community
It is the middle of June 2020. The first case of COVID-19 in America was identified in January 5 months ago. We know now the virus was here and spreading in December 2019 and maybe earlier. The fact is if a competent testing, tracing, and containment strategy were going to happen it would have. It has not and will not. Yes, President Trump failed on this. But Congress and the individual states failed as well. In addition, the scientific community has been amazingly slow to respond. As with politicians, the scientists spent more time trying to one up each other for the superior intellect award instead of helping immediately at the ground level. Corporations also failed. The lack of PPE initially you could say was the fault of whoever runs the hospitals. But the inability after the onset to obtain PPE fast was not their fault. That was the fault of American corporations and Trump. Because we do not make anything anymore. We had to rely on other countries while at the same time trying to retool American factories to do so. When it came to truly responding to COVID-19 all these entities together have a terrible report card.
It does not make me happy to say that, but it is the truth. It took too long to obtain test kits, execute them, report back, and take fast incremental action based on data. Instead time passed while both sides argued and politicized it all. In short, we must reopen the country because that status quo will continue. If we wait for competence from government, scientists, and the healthcare industry we will wait forever. Should we give them the rest of 2020 to redeem themselves and solve this? Hell no. The only option is to reopen the economy.
As usual small business is being hurt the most during the pandemic. Big business has flourished. They got the bailouts, all the stock market action, and were deemed essential never having to close. They own most online commerce. They have the resources and political clout to survive this while smaller competitors die. We have all seen the stories of the billionaires gaining obscene additional wealth during the last 3 months. Small business on the other has became paralyzed. No lobbyists to help them. Supply chain breakdown. Local community traffic and demand decimated. These small businesses that support millions of American families were forced to shut down. Now, if they are even allowed to reopen, they must do so under the CDC and state guidelines. A huge burden to take on. If they received PPP loans at all they had to struggle to do so. Big business got handouts overnight. The Lakers, Shake Shack, the Catholic Church, and many other received millions in loans. Which they gave back. Disgraceful. If you are a capitalist, then you should know monopolies are bad for everyone. The shutdown is killing small business and enabling the shift toward huge corporation domination. As if competition was not hard enough in 2020 America for the little guy. Reopen the economy or let small business in America die.
Democracy Means Citizens Own All the Risk
Several of the countries that performed exceptionally in responding to the pandemic could do so because their system of government and daily life could be leveraged for the response. South Korea is on the border with North Korea, and China looms large. High alert is a way of life in South Korea. So, when a pandemic threatened their country the citizens got on board and responded. Together. Because real threats are a regular part of life. China’s authoritarian government means they do what they want when they want it comes to altering the daily life of the people. America by contrast is so free, in terms of what you can do day-to-day, and has zero regional military threats. High alert is not our way of life. When it is, it is looked at as an imposition. That may be small and weak of us as a people, but that is the way it is in America. Especially since the media wants us to hate each other. We have 50 states and additional territories each with their own government. Very little coordination exists outside of commerce state to state. A situation likes this forces cooperation but we are not good at it. In short the government has little interaction day to day in the lives of Americans. Directly or indirectly. We like this about America. Freedom! The downside with this way of life is that when the shit goes down nobody is coming to help or lead you. We are on our own mostly. Yes, the government can do certain things, but they absolutely cannot solve your problems day to day. Americans own all the risk of living in America and a free democracy is a high-risk high-reward situation. Donald, Nancy, Mitch, Chuck, and the rest can stay shutdown forever. They assume zero risk and you become more reliant on them. Which is their dream scenario. Meanwhile, your life stops. Completely. It has been 5 months. The country must reopen because you and your family are assuming 100% of the risk of the economy remaining closed.
The Virus Won
This week the hot terms are spike and second wave. This is spin. Again, the virus has been here for 5 full months. Testing in the first months failed and it is everywhere. We are over 2 million confirmed cases. On top of that we can add tens of millions more for sure. We know from Serology testing, which is being buried by the media, that millions and millions have had already the virus and developed antibodies. These folks did not get tested and were not hospitalized. Which proves a couple of things. The first is that any time window to attack the virus and contain it has passed. Containment failed. Second, it also proves the virus is not that deadly. It is real and it is bad, but if you are under 60 you are not at a high risk of dying. The death rate is well under 1%. The virus is here, and it will be here until we have herd immunity, or there is a vaccine. Any argument in mid-June 2020 that tries to convince you we can still contain and crush the curve and end the pandemic comes from our wonderful cable news media political propaganda fantasy machine. It is over people. The virus won the 2020 round. We must live with it intelligently. We have no other choice. Reopen America now.