To the Editor:
On Wednesday, Martha’s Vineyard witnessed a demonstration requesting the local government to relax the restriction they have levied upon the work conditions of local businesses. Although I support the efforts of the organizers and their reasonable request, I probably wouldn’t have participated. However, my laziness was interrupted by hate, cyberbullying, and slander directed at the organizers. Before COVID (BC) these tactics would be called out as wrong, intolerable, and un-American.
George W. Bush once stated, “you’re either with us or against us.” That logic produced two-generational wars “on terrorism.” It appears that this same narrative has been perpetrated on the people. We have been asked to accept one narrative and only one narrative. You are with us, “in this together” or against us “deviating outside your quarantine.”
Since when has asking the authorities to relax their restrictions on workers been labeled as; “against us,” insult to nurses, un-American, a threat to the community, and idiotic? Some of the more zealous people have even demonized the organizers on social media, Facebook “hate,” cyber-bullying, and calling for boycotting their products.
It should be understood that a recovery of the economy must begin at some time. Our start for a reasonable and safe economic recovery is being delayed by intolerable social responses to any request asking for reduced authority. I do not accept that the quarantine must be observed until “we say it is safe” or “we now have a cure.” This is not a viable path to follow.
The protesters are asking for the authorities to unchain the creative, economic, and production power of those in quarantine. They are asking local government to restore the peaceful cooperation within our local commerce that existed BC. The victims of COVID are not limited to the symptoms of the virus. There are others suffering economic despair.
Both the protesters and I believe a safe reopening will help to reduce the economic suffering that many of our residents are experiencing. I fear that some of the “lucky,” those that have maintained an adequate income or enough savings to get through the COVID-19 shutdown, are insensitive to the hardships facing the “unlucky.”
We are asking our towns to at least explore alternative ways to restore our local economy. This is the basis of the protest, asking them to return authority back to our businesses and residents so that they can lead and share in a safe recovery. After all, in a pre-COVID world, the problem-solvers were celebrated and the cowering compliant were tolerated.
Thank you hospital workers – you flattened the curve.
I understand the levels of stress put on the medical community must be mitigated for us to be released. It appears that the medical community has reached that stage. The original intent of the policy was not to eradicate the virus. It was to buy time for the hospital system, to flatten the curve, for them to function properly.
They succeeded in this objective. Our hospitals have been servicing patients that have become infected, and have continued with their normal operations of caring for those who are acutely ill, who suffer from accidents, chronic illnesses, or are victims of violence. They have done yeoman’s work to prepare our community for the COVID-19 crisis.
In other words, the medical system is functioning very nicely. The hospitals are functioning enough so that we can start to get back to our lives. The hospital has given us assurances that effective treatments are available to everyone and the hospital capacity is not close to being exhausted.
They succeeded in the “flatten the curve” mission. Their mission has never been to wait for a cure. Let us return to the social spaces of work, play, and live with one another like we did once upon a time.
There are trade-offs when plans to reopen the economic system are at stake. The peaceful cooperation of our resources is ready and willing to solve problems. The USA has always looked to the entrepreneur for discoveries to improve the human condition. Now is the time to create expectations that will guide the local businesses and entrepreneurs in the desired direction.
Free people are not helpless people. We will adjust, we will adapt, and we will take on the responsibility of being architects of our own fate. Society must be judged by how well it minimizes human suffering; physically, emotionally, and economically. It is time to allow the stakeholders to initiate the activities and opportunities that will promote recovery.
Am I foolish to hope that the truth of reality will be our guiding light and not the politics of the state and those compliant with their narrative? Critics will continue to use this crisis to slander true liberalism and libertarianism. Maybe we all would be better served by embracing the fact that if freedom is allowed to flourish it will provide answers in these turbulent times.
I hope that my presence, at that rally, will help to neutralize the viciousness of the social media clique, fear of the unknown, a corrosive mob mentality, and the divisiveness of the COVID narrative.
Let’s begin our return to normal!