The debate that rages on daily about the stay at home orders and re-opening the economy pundits in many ways is the perfect encapsulation of 2020 and just how crazy and far off the path of reason we have gone. The divide in America is clear as day, as now nearly every popular debate shifts into two major opinions that land you on one side of the aisle or the other. There is no middle ground or a way to be categorized as someone who has an opinion that is different than the two mainstream thoughts.
One of the few things I learned in college is that we as people love to assign causality to things in a very definitive and singular manner. Meaning that we love to blame an issue on one causation no matter how complex and clearly multifaceted the situation is. The fact is that very few things in this world are so simple that they were caused by one person or one event only, life is complicated and situations have a lot of factors in play. The Covid-19 lockdowns are no different, people seem to have one of two opinions. The first is the idea that no life is worth risking to “save” the economy, and the second is that the economy needs to be open and if it means people are going to die, then that “is what it is”.
I take issue with parts of both sides but let’s start with the idea of the “lockdown until it’s safe” proponents. First this idea that only “essential” workers need to be exposing themselves to the possibility of infection is pretty mind-boggling. Who are they to decide what is essential or not? And secondly, when you ask people to signup for continued economic hardship it seems unreasonable to ask someone to endure that with no timeline of when that might end. So it just seems unrealistic to enforce and to ask the country and world to be ok with not being able to pay their mortgage for an indefinite amount of time.
Now talking about the people who are dismissing the mortality rate and clear danger that Covid-19 presents. It is likely never a good idea to assume that bad situations will just be less than thought or predicted to be (especially when lives are at stake). The “open up the economy” folks seem to be consistent about not being able to have the country in a perpetual lockdown but are far from consistent when it comes to wildly claiming that deaths are created by the lockdown being in place. Look I have no doubt that economic hardship really messes people’s lives up, and is more than just disruptive but has long-standing predominately negative effects on most peoples lives. But when weighing that against death or the spread of death it clearly does not hold a strong candle to it.
So who is an essential worker? Who is responsible? Who can we blame? These are some of the questions that are being asked and i believe all of these questions can be answered with one simple word. YOU. that is right, You. You are an essential worker because you need the income it generates to survive. You are responsible for making the decisions that put yourself at risk or not given what you have to do to survive and or thrive in this day and age. And lastly, you are to blame if something does not go the way you want it to and if you get sick because you wanted to go to the local bar to see your friends.
So just stop, stop trying to tell everyone what is best and or what they should or shouldn’t be doing, you don’t know their answer, you barely even know yours.