OPINION - We've Gone Too Far


I've gotten to the point where I feel that we've gone too far in playing it safe against the Coronavirus. Don't get me wrong. Some caution and personal responsibility are a good thing. But we are creating millions of people who sit at home shivering in fear as they lose their jobs, fitness, socialization and savings. There is a tremendous societal cost to this with the resulting addiction, suicide, hopelessness and isolation. These are harder to quantify but calls to suicide lines are up 3x. Read up on plasma and hydroxychloroquine. Great early results, and Cuomo said this morning that 20% of the ventilators in NY are sitting idle not being used. Most of us won't get it and if we do we won't know. If we DO get it, likely we'll get better. Listen to me. I'm not saying this is nothing. Never have. But you "all or nothings" out there have to realize there is a balance point here. 25% of small business people tell US Chamber they're on the verge of closing for good.

I'm biased here cause I'm in ownership but even if you hate small business owners, how about those who got a call last week saying your job is gone?

Unemployment? Please. That's no model for the dignity of doing your job well and won't make you whole financially.  If Walmart can be open today with spacing restrictions then so can Kohl's. Let gyms set up new schedules, max 10 people and close every hour to clean. Let restaurants open with space between tables. Let theaters sell half the tickets with chairs in between.

There are ways to do this responsibly. Losing lives is awful. But remember comorbidity. Many of those dying were dying from other things before this came along. Losing freedom, health, commerce, savings, and opportunity is awful too.   In a societal context, we understand we are part of a system. If I'm susceptible to something, I have the freedom to say don't come to visit me I might catch something or I might give it to you. In a free society we let the people make these decisions, not the government.  You also have the right to dig a hole in your backyard and jump in it where you have no risk. If you're scared to go out to eat then don't do it. When government limits your constitutional rights, you stand in a danger zone, and that's what is happening.

Not saying anyone has to agree with me. And there are good points on both sides. But we've swung the balance too far. New York Mills should not be run like New York City. We've set a new world record in playing it safe. We need to have something to come back to after this is over.