A big step back toward normalcy today: S went back to work. She’s on a limited schedule, just two days a week and only seeing two patients per hour, all of whom are age two and under. She’s also not back in her office as it remains closed for the time being. This will be the plan for six weeks or so and then there is a phase 2 and 3 in the works before her practice is completely open again. I think she was pleased to be out of the house again. I woke up before 7:00 and she was already gone. It’s only one step, but it is the first on what should be a long and slow trek back toward the world restarting.
The whole concept of reopening has, like everything else these days, been so completely politicized that it is nearly impossible to have a reasonable discussion about it.
We absolutely need to reopen. What we do NOT need to do, though, is just open up the gates and tell everyone to pretend it is March 13 and pick up where we left off then. The reopening needs to be cautious, planned, and controlled. People need to keep social distancing, keep staying at home unless they absolutely need to be outside the house. Wearing masks and gloves when they shop. Avoiding large groups. And so on.
I get the feeling from the public statements of many politicians that they far prefer the idea of rushing back to normal. Many of them express little interest in setting up a system of testing that is required if we hope to get society anywhere near where it was before the coronavirus hit. Those people are idiots.
There will be a second wave of coronavirus. If we remain vigilant and continue to make individual sacrifices for the greater good, we can put off that second wave and make it more manageable, flattening the second curve as we did the first. If we cast aside all the restrictions we’ve adopted over the past six weeks too quickly, the second wave will arrive quickly and with ferocity. Parents are already sweating the idea of school beginning on time in August. If we start having birthday parties and other gatherings, we can go ahead and write off the fall quarter (if not semester) because wave number two will be burning the country up just when schools are set to open.
There have been many maddening statements and actions by our political leaders over the past four months. Fortunately there have been some who have proven themselves to be true leaders by taking decisive, definitive actions based on science and the desire to protect their citizens, regardless of whether they voted for them or not. The cowards, the fakes, the bullies have been more interested in casting blame, attempting to claim credit for things they had nothing to do with, pandering to their base, trying to distract, and otherwise doing all they can to NOT make rational, reasoned, intelligent decisions.
I’m thankful our governor, who I did not vote for, is firmly in the first camp. He’s held daily press conferences that have been honest and sober. He’s relied on the experts around him and not attempted to present himself on an expert. His tone has been one of caring and concern. He seems guided by a desire to keep as many Hoosiers safe as he can. Most of all, he has behaved like an adult.
He’s been a leader. I’m pleased that he has been in charge, as opposed to his predecessor. His actions this year have likely earned my vote in November, even though I disagree with many of his other policies.
With the politics of this in mind, I have again stepped way back from the news. A month ago I was deep into news, checking a series of websites constantly, listening to the BBC, adding news sources to my Twitter feed. I’ve scaled all that back. I only check a couple news sites a few times each day, usually when I hear that something noteworthy has happened somewhere else. I haven’t listened to the BBC in weeks. I’ve culled many of those Twitter accounts.
All this is an attempt to maintain a sense of sanity. There’s no avoiding so many of the worst parts of the news: the daily death and new case numbers, the afternoon meltdowns in the White House. But I’ve found I can’t do it all day the way I could a month ago.