By Stephen Diener
Amongst all of the debates to ensue during the Coronavirus pandemic, there is one that has stood above all the rest.
And no, it’s not whether or not Trump wants us to eat Lysol, or how many ice cream bars Pelosi has in her freezer.
The most hotly contested issue has been whether or not the lockdown was necessary, or if it was even worth it considering the economic toll it has taken on millions of Americans.
I’m not going to pretend like this is an easy question with an easy answer, because it’s not. Both the question and answer have many layers and sub layers to it. So I will boil it down to these simple points…
You can get a job back, but you can’t get a life back.
The economy will bounce back, but those who lost a loved one because of this virus, young or old, will never see them again.
Make no mistake about it, this country has been fighting a war since March 11th and we were all asked to play a part in the battle. Our role was to stay home and to stop the spread of infection. That was the mission and now we are finally turning the tide.
I know it has been extremely difficult, maybe for some more than others, but this was the best battle strategy for the situation that we were presented with.
Some opponents of this strategy have pointed to Sweden in their success of herd immunity. They kept schools open, bars open, and life moving on. The result so far?… Twenty one thousand cases and close to three thousand deaths. Those in favor of this strategy would say that is a win all things considered.
But keep one very important fact in mind when making the Sweden argument.
Their population compared to ours does not even begin to compare. At last check, Sweden has a population of 10 million people. To put that into perspective, Florida and New York combine for 40 million Americans alone.
Lest we forget the whole point of the “stay home, stay safe” strategy in the first place was to avoid the country’s medical system from becoming overwhelmed with the over 330 million Americans. Could you imagine the entire country looking like New York did at their height of the virus? Not a pretty picture.
And now that it hasn’t happened, our reaction is, “well, that wasn’t as bad as they said it was going to be. We did this all for nothing.”
Understand something, the plan worked!
The worst predictions did not come to pass because we all bought into social distancing and staying home. You win any war by sticking to a battle plan, this has been no different.