Dr. Dan Grove, the pulmonologist turned COVID-19 recovered patient, is back with another dose of reality for all of us.
According to Dr. Dan, it appears that the limit of our national vigilance is somewhere around three months. We descended from the unified heights of staying home and supporting those of us on the front lines to a fit-for-cable news battle over the political philosophy of a face covering. It was only three short months after the shut down that many states decided that the crisis was over and the people had had enough. The push to get the economy going again led to the opening up of bars, salons, restaurants, and public beaches. This was in spite of the fact that the cases in those states had not been falling for very long and were far from zero. The coronavirus had different plans. These states are now shutting back down again.
Take Florida, for example. Gov. Ron DeSantis gradually opened businesses in May, starting in Florida’s less populous counties. In early June, he moved forward with reopening bars and larger entertainment venues in some counties, even as case counts rose. It was only a few short weeks later that the lines on the charts started to shoot up and Miami started to look like Wuhan. This was not only predictable it was predicted by anyone who knows anything about epidemiology or virology. In fact, you didn’t even need to be an expert in epidemiology or virology to see this coming. It was obvious to anyone but those who were deluding themselves by blind optimism or politics. Hope has never been a successful strategy.
The tragedy is that if these states had just waited a couple more weeks and opened in a more staged and cautious manner, this likely all could have been avoided.
An even bigger tragedy is the fact that these spikes are going to threaten school in the fall. Already major school systems in California have committed to home only learning which can have far reaching consequences not only for the children and their parents but for the economy as well. We chose to open the bars and now may have to close the schools.
It appears the virus has exposed in graphic detail a fundamental flaw in our cultural mindset. We have an immeasurable impatience. We have been manipulated for so long to expect and demand the next best thing now. This has all been accelerated by our social media driven seconds long attention spans. We want the quick fix, the high, the treat but we don’t want to put in the time or the effort.
So after just a few short months of challenge and discomfort we had enough. Our grandparents and great grandparents would be astonished by our weak spirits. They had the attitude necessary to overcome a national challenge whether it be the great depression or the great wars. We couldn’t do without a night on the town.
The problem that only some of us recognized was the the virus doesn’t particularly care about our wants or needs. It doesn’t care that the economy is suffering, that your kids are driving you crazy, or that you’re so tired of being stuck home and have just had enough . If you don’t respect this virus, it will hurt you. Maybe it would be better to say that it will hurt us.
People must stop getting their medical advice from politicians, put on their masks, and keep a safe distance. Our children are depending on you.