I have a response to those saying that people on either side of the stay-at-home order should not fighting with other Americans & should not judge those who are pushing to re-open before it’s safe. You know, under normal circumstances, with most topics, I would agree on just about every point, and even though I can’t fully get on board with what you’re saying- I respect the effort you’re making. If you replaced the topic with just about any other issue, I could get behind it. I strive to advocate for being real, compassionate, & treating everyone the same. I truly do.
On this particular subject, though, I was pushed past your stance, because there is a pretty huge, and significant, cost to being on one side. Lives. Possibly far more than the 99,300 people that have already been lost in BARELY three months in the United States. That number alone is horrendous, but because people keep thinking of it in comparison to numbers that are gathered over an ENTIRE YEAR with other illnesses, like influenza, they are dismissive of it. Barely three months. If we keep losing people at this rate for a whole year- that number will be almost 400,000. While the amount we’ve lost is nothing at all to be dismissed, 400,000 is much, much worse. Even if we figure a few months without the virus being around (which they don’t believe will happen because it isn’t being significantly reduced by higher temps,) we could still easily reach a quarter million people killed by covid19, in just a year.
In the beginning, I tried to just spread awareness without making any judgements, and see from other perspectives. I even gathered resources for those on the other side, to help with the problems they were bringing up- because I recognize that they are real problems. I kept thinking, “As the death toll rises, they’ll start seeing the truth.” Problem is, that never happened because (one of the things we agree on,) our government has failed us during this pandemic. In so many ways.
America should have been a strong role model for other countries. Instead, it’s turned into a cautionary tale of what NOT to do. Our government officials have made many bad decisions- the first being not shutting down soon enough, and the second being not mandating the stay-at-home order until medical advisors working with the virus say it should be lifted. Perhaps the most far-reaching bad decision, is their attitude about the virus and stay at home order. It’s pretty hard to expect people to take it seriously when the people that are supposed to be running things, don’t really seem to be. When you throw in the fact that many of the presidential supporters are the “die-hard,” type- that’s going to really cause some problems. So, you see, I do agree with many parts of what you wrote.
While I also believe everyone should be turning to the government and demand that they do better, the one thing I can’t agree on, now, is that it isn’t fair to judge those who want to re-open because of the failure of the government. I agreed with that in the beginning, when there wasn’t yet enough data to show how bad things are, but once the numbers started coming in- it became a choice to be ignorant of the science.
If they still haven’t been shown all the evidence- I can maybe at least be okay with waiting until they are informed to judge, but what I keep running into, are people who are intelligent enough to understand the data, but choose not to care about what it says. I can’t just be okay with that. Not when raising the death toll is a direct result of going against what medical advisors say needs to be done. Once you’ve been informed of this, things change. At that point, you can be judged by your choices and actions.
Don’t think I don’t understand that even once you’re informed, fear can keep you from seeing the right path. I do- but, I also understand that you can’t let fear make you willfully ignorant and it absolve you from responsibility. If that was the case, people could use fear as an excuse for murdering people. That’s not right. That’s only the case if it can be proven that the person is an imminent physical threat to you. The people being killed by the spread of the virus aren’t doing anything to hurt people. They’re simply trying to exist.
To decide that their fear, convenience, right to move about freely, or their bank account is more important than someone else’s ACTUAL life- shows what their character is at this point in time. Maybe they’ll evolve later, but right now- they are a huge part of the problem, and why deaths keep rising. At some point, personal accountability kicks in. We can’t just blame the government only in an age where information is very easily obtained. Maybe before the internet and broadening of media, but not now. NOW, people have the ability to know the truth. Choosing to not see it, is a choice to not care about those around you, and I just can’t get on board with that, or believe that you aren’t doing anything wrong just by wanting to go back to work, or whatever.
The answer to those problems is to force our government to step up. This is another place we differ, because I view all of Americas economical issues as “self-imposed,” meaning there are ways to fix the problem- we just aren’t thinking of those ways because we are so stuck in the belief that we have to work within the parameters of what is already in place. This country is supposed to be ran by it’s citizens. If the majority of citizens are demanding they fix the problem- they kinda have no choice but to do so, because otherwise, they will no longer have their position when elections come. That’s how they work. If the polls show them what the people want overwhelmingly- they WILL cater to it. It’s already being proven during this pandemic because we are re-opening too soon because “that’s what the people want.”
And now we’ve come to why I feel like I had NO CHOICE but to choose a side and stand firm, and why I continue to try to get people educated, and bother fighting with people on the subject, AND bothered with writing all of this. Because our government has failed us so horribly, it’s up to common citizens to get the truth out there to other common citizens. It’s my belief that this is one of those serious humanity issues that require those who understand and recognize the truth to stand firm and fight for the right side. I believe this because from my perspective- there shouldn’t be, and should never have been, “sides” to this, at all. Opinions can be had when something cannot be proven with scientific evidence.
You can have an opinion on many things– abortion, capital punishment, the economy, politics, etc. Those are all your right to have. Science is a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws. Science that has been proven to be true, again and again, is fact. When did it suddenly become okay to have an opinion on how a virus works, and the best ways to combat it, rather than listening to the medical experts who have scientific facts to back up what they are saying? That’s like having an opinion on whether the color red is actually the color blue.
Red is red. Blue is blue. 2+2=4, 10+10=20, etc. These are things that you don’t dispute right now, but would you if political leaders said that 2+2=7, or decided that the color blue is suddenly the color gray? I would hope not, since these are things that have been taught to you as facts since elementary school, or before, but my point is- science that can be proven to be true and has been vetted by other scientists to make sure there are no errors- is a fact. There is no room for an opinion. Choosing to turn it into an opinion issue is still making a choice to do something OTHER THAN everything you possibly can to minimize the spread of the virus.
As human beings, it is our responsibility to do what we can to minimize the deaths this virus causes BECAUSE we are an advanced society that is capable of understanding that a virus kills people and how to limit transmission. It’s not like when the Plague was running around, or even the Spanish Flu. If we’d had the ability to communicate better when those happened, they may never have made the history books. We can now alert people almost instantly that there is a dangerous virus being transmitted, giving us the potential to save millions of lives, but instead of utilizing that communication and making sure everyone knows it’s imperative to stop the spread, many have used it for the wrong things. Since I know I understand this for what it is, it’s my responsibility to try to get others to see, too.
Otherwise, I have to live with knowing I sat here and did nothing. I can’t do that when lives are the cost, and this experience has shown me that there are many who are capable of understanding, like me, but they are choosing to do everything BUT help control the virus. If I could be okay with that, I could also be okay with sitting by and doing nothing. I am not okay with either and HAVE to keep pushing for the only thing that matters- minimizing the loss of life as much as possible.