When it comes to coronavirus, I’m all for reasonable measures to be safe – particularly when it comes to protecting the more vulnerable elderly, and those with underlying health conditions.
For me personally, I’m all for not getting COVID-19 in a similar sense to how I’m all for not getting the flu.
If the CDC has released guidelines urging social distancing and no gatherings of greater than 10-people, let’s be team players and follow those for now, and hope that macro-scale risk assessment has a reason for amendment in the coming days and weeks.
But for pity’s sake, panicking is not going to help anyone except power-hungry opportunists looking to crash the economy and win political victories they didn’t have good enough arguments to win in the prosperous and peaceful times.
President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Set aside for the moment the fact that he exploited and exacerbated the social and economic realities which we refer to now as The Great Depression to push for his radical Leftist takeover of the economy and fundamental transformation of our political system. A similar sentiment to what he communicated almost a century ago is appropriate here.
We have nothing to panic about except panic itself.
And even that I say tongue-in-cheek. We shouldn’t even panic about panicking. But we should be very concerned about the ramifications of so many of our fellow Americans freaking out about COVID-19 – and I dare-say their freak-out should scare us worse than COVID-19 itself.
Panic or Die
The false choice implied by much of the mainstream media coverage of this has been ‘Panic or Die.’ If you’re not panicking, you apparently don’t care about people dying. You apparently don’t value your own or other people’s lives. The way we’re all supposed to virtue signal our way out of this crisis is by panicking about coronavirus.
Forgive me for being blunt, but that’s stupid.
Students of history who have taken notes will find exactly zero cases from the beginning of time where panicking made a person or people more resilient, or better able to reason or maneuver their way out of a dangerous, life-threatening scenario.
But that’s just it. The Leftist mainstream media doesn’t particularly want us to find our way out of this scenario without government intervention. And, of course, not just any intervention will do – sweeping, large-scale Progressive Democratic Party intervention is their prescription for anything and everything that ails us, including but not limited to coronavirus
So what if we crash the economy and tear one another to pieces for the next 6-9 months? A media with a conscience would be ashamed of itself. Yet we are blessed with a media which sees its efforts to sabotage America’s peace and tranquility as a righteous crusade against a bad orange man, and we – his ignorant, backward, racist, bigoted supporters.
It’s as if they all finally picked up what Bill Maher put down in 2018 when he said he would welcome an economic collapse if it meant getting rid of Trump. Who cared how many innocent people would be hurt by said collapse? The ends justified the means according to Maher and an audience of clapping Leftists who cheered his ugly candor.
The honest villain at least has some virtue in his honesty.
To be clear, the Left is hoping to capitalize on COVID-19. If you’ll indulge momentarily an attempt on my part to psychoanalyze them, I’d venture that this coronavirus is their favorite thing since Woodrow Wilson met World War I and Franklin Roosevelt met World War II.
And the language is there this time also. This isn’t just an illness or virus, as such things go. This is a war. But a war on what, or who?
And is the Left’s call to shut down the economy a war on coronavirus, or a war on President Trump’s re-election bid this coming November?
That said, my family and I stayed home from church this past Sunday morning. We stayed home from small group this past Sunday evening.
I’ve spoken with a brother and cousin who both also work for large, established companies in the oil & gas industry. They’ve told me about memos urging employees to stay out of the office where possible and to convert all in-person meetings to conference calls, and all safety and technical training to online until further notice.
That’s well and good. I have no problem with that. Let’s be prudent. As chairman of the safety committee at work, I canceled our planned Safety Committee Meeting until such a time as our members can attend it remotely as a GoTo Meeting.
But let’s not kid ourselves about the bigger picture here, and what life is going to look like on the other side of COVID-19.
Life After Coronavirus
Everything I’ve read says the coronavirus should peter out with warmer weather – once we hit summertime temperatures. Being mid-March now, we’re not all that far off from June and July, and the welcome relief they will bring.
That said, life is never going to be quite the same after COVID-19. The changes in how we do things moving forward will be real and deep and lasting.
Some of these changes, I believe, could end up being extremely positive. For instance, if more and more companies adjust their business models to allow employees to work from home, this will not only reduce economic vulnerability to any future pandemics. It will also yield higher productivity, health and happiness benefits for America’s workforce even in good times.
So also, I predict – or at least hope for – an even greater interest in homeschooling across the country as parents who were debating whether to pull the trigger in recent years see in COVID-19 and the panic surrounding it yet another reason to pull their children out of public schools and teach them at home.
At a minimum, I think Americans are going to come out of this with a greater tendency to keep toilet paper stocked up in their homes. That, or we’re going to see a dramatic increase in the use of household bidets nationwide.
But besides these positives, we should consider the political ramifications. And, no, it’s not too soon to politicize this. The coronavirus business was always going to become a political issue; and for better or worse, it always was a political issue.
And on that note, I think we can safely say that scary situations like this tend to bring out the best and worst in people.
How do we react in a crisis? Apathy? Indifference to the needs of others? Insecurity and defensiveness? Agitation and hostility? Hurling accusations?
For many Americans, the answer is apparently yes.
I dare say also that for many Americans – and here I’m talking about the Left – there seems almost to be an ecstatic wish that coronavirus turns apocalyptic. Again, the Left obviously wants to come out of this with a mandate to govern.
But I think also we see on the Right – or whatever you want to call the segment of the American public that votes for and supports the president – a kind of defensiveness against anything which might jeopardize our party’s political future.
And this is where, ironically, I think the path to victory – as a people against a pandemic, and as one pole on a political spectrum against its opposite – is to prove that we are taking this seriously. Both apathy and overreaction feed into ugly narratives. But we need not choose either.
Genuinely caring about people’s well-being is genuinely good for the economy, and it is a good political strategy.
King Solomon’s Wisdom
We could stand to learn a lesson from the wise judgment of King Solomon here. See 1 Kings 3:16-28 for the story of two prostitutes who came before the king each claiming they were the rightful mother of a child, and that the other woman’s child had died. Each accused the other of trying to steal their baby.
And what was Solomon’s judgment? Cut the baby in two and give each woman half. One woman pleaded for this not to be so, and that the other woman keep the child rather than killing it. And so Solomon knew who the child’s rightful mother was.
So also here.
For all the talk I’ve heard of how both ends of the political divide in America are equally corrupt, disingenuous, and fatuous, let us say both the Republican and Democratic parties are prostitutes. Fair enough, if you ask me.
But let’s say the economy and the American people are the child. Who is the child’s real mother? The woman who would rather risk the other woman getting her child than have the child cut in two.
The Bill Mahers – in media and politics and on Twitter – who would rather get half of a dead baby than none of a living one expose exactly why we should not want them to be making our life and death decisions.
Look To The End
The stock market has crashed. Seemingly all of the record-setting economic gains realized during President Trump’s presidency have been lost, and then some. Consider that a sunk cost at this point. Let’s move on.
Where you can pick up the phone and call someone instead of meeting in-person, do that. And ironically, that’s a more economical way to do business anyway. It cuts out on the wages and fuel cost of traveling to and fro – though that latter cost of fuel is already diminished now thanks to the oil price war between Saudi Arabia, Russia, and American shale. The truth is, we probably should have been operating with more frugality anyway.
For pity’s sake, let’s not buy up all the toilet paper, paper towels, baby wipes, hot dogs, and rice in all the grocery stores and on the internet. But perhaps we all should have been keeping our pantries and home supplies better stocked. So let’s do that moving forward.
And maybe, on the political front just like in martial arts, if we use our enemy’s momentum and body weight and mindless aggression against him, we can win by proving two things. First, we conservatives do care more about people than about money. But second, hurting the economy is bad and we hate it because it hurts people.
You and your family need a vibrant economy. So does my family, and so do I.
Please, don’t get coronavirus. And if you may possibly have it, please do all you can to not spread it. Kindly also lather, rinse and repeat with regards to the cold and flu.
But above and beyond that, don’t panic. And if by chance you catch yourself starting to despair, do try hard not to let that be contagious either.