Like many of you, I've been holed up in my house for the last several months, only venturing out for necessities.
During isolation I've watched the infection rates go down, and then in the United States, soar back up. I've watched politicians and leaders point fingers, self-congratulate, issue warnings and advice, pontificate, and throw their hands up in the air over and over and over... locally, regionally, and nationally. Management of the coronavirus has been nothing short of a comedy of errors, and not a very funny comedy, at that. To make things worse, the virus remains. We have lost all the ground we gained earlier in the year, and we're now careening toward the most unstable period in American history.
The language in that pronouncement is incredibly clear. It was not my pronouncement. I will repeat it, in context, just to drive home the clarity.
Dr. Peter Hotez, the Dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said if the United States continues on its current path (such as reopening public places too early, not enforcing wearing masks, not enforcing social distancing guidelines) it will enter "one of the most unstable times in the history of our country."
The advice from experts around the world has been just as resoundingly simple, and bears mention here as well.
- Only go out when necessary.
- If you must go out, cover your mouth and nose with a mask.
- Stay six feet away from people in public.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, often.
- Refrain from touching your face.
These simple steps have caused an unusually loud uproar in the United States. The mask thing is probably the worst of all. For all the bitching and crying, it is simply a minor inconvenience which helps the common good. Kind of like taxes, traffic laws, clocks, the infield fly rule, waiting your turn in line, and just about everything we learned in kindergarten.
Is it really so terrible? I mean, if you were actually in kindergarten, maybe five years old, I'd be completely willing to cut you a break. And if you really have that much trouble breathing through a piece of cloth, it's much better for you to just stay home, as you're endangering your own health even being out in this environment.
But if you're going to keep playing the "you can't make me" card like a child in kindergarten, and the situation keeps getting worse because you won't cooperate, maybe the simplest solution is to punish you like a child in kindergarten.