America is heading for catastrophe if…

Photo: Anthony Moretti, March 14, 2017

“I’m so over this.”

“I want normal again.”

“I need to get back to work!”

All three statements make sense.

All three statements reflect what millions of people are thinking.

All three statements can be shouted from the rooftops. (If you choose to do that, just make sure you are standing at least 6 feet away from anyone else who might be there with you.)

And all three statements could mean calamity for the United States.

Some parts of the country have been more successful than others in flattening the coronavirus curve. Other parts remain caught in a vice-like grip. Both remain susceptible to seeing a spike is diagnosed cases, and such a diagnosis would crush current efforts to slow down the spread of this deadly disease.

However, if political or business leaders are the ones who make the call on what should be reopened, and when, the calamity risk increases. No offense to the men and women in either group, but they must heed the advice of health professionals.

Yes, the unemployment numbers because of coronavirus are scary, and they will get worse. Yes, opening up the economy in May would be great. Yes, the idea of staying at (or close to) home can be mind numbing.

Comparing coronavirus to cancer likely is folly, but I ask you to think of how many people fought off cancer only to get it again. That second wave seemed more virulent, more evil, more deadly. A second wave of coronavirus? Absolutely realistic to assume. Read the following words carefully; they were uttered by an infectious-disease researcher in Hong Kong:

“These numbers don’t allow a sigh of relief.”

Business Insider offered another sobering reminder of what our future could resemble.

(N)ormality will be hard to come by without risking more death and overwhelmed hospitals, since experts warn that new infections could surge after lockdowns lift. There’s also a chance the virus could make a resurgence in fall weather.

The fall. Schools would be up and running. People would be out and about. Sports might be back in action. All of those people coming into contact with so many others.

Until there is a vaccine, coronavirus remains a danger. While it seems unlikely we will be forced to live as we are now until one is proven to work, we would be setting ourselves up for disaster if we believe that because we did the right thing in March and April we can let our guard down.

Return to normal? Sure.

When it’s time.

 

 

BBC: One small Ohio town worries, and one small Arkansas town doesn’t about coronavirus

According to the BBC,

The hot spots of Covid-19 are New York, Detroit and other big cities. But small towns across the nation are going through their own wave of infection. Medical experts say the disease could be devastating in rural areas – many of the residents are elderly, living far from hospitals and clinics.

The severity of the outbreak in small towns is determined by a number of factors – towns in sparsely populated states such as Arkansas, South Dakota and Wyoming have been affected only slightly, while those in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, densely populated areas with big airports and busy interstates, are more likely to suffer.