A friend posted this on Facebook. I have my suspicions that it was meant—by him, by the original author, or both—to be snarky, but it nonetheless expresses an important truth: The goal of social distancing and other protective orders is not to eliminate the virus nor the risk, but to slow down the spread so that our medical system can handle those who will need help.

COVID-19 is a virus that most of us will have to face, and it doesn't surprise me at all that cases are up as restrictions are eased. That's part of the process and must eventually happen. But it's important to remember that it's like going back to eating after a bout of the stomach flu. You need hydration and nutrition if you want to get well, but if you move straight away to eating as you normally do, you will start the vomiting cycle all over again. You have to start slowly and carefully and base your next move on how well your body handled the previous one.

There is no way for me to say whether or not our restrictions are being eased too soon. Even with the stomach flu there's a lot of trial and error involved, and we know a lot more about stomach bugs than about COVID-19. That the restrictions must be eased and eventually lifted is clear. I get quite frustrated with those who insist that doing so is sacrificing people's lives to the god Mammon, to "the Economy." Do they not realize that it takes a healthy economy to keep people healthy, and that if the economy dies, people die? People die, and countries die. There were many contributing factors to the downfall of the Soviet Union, but probably the largest was the failed Soviet economy. It must be done, but it must be done as wisely as we can. And that depends more on the people than on the government.

It's scary that so many people don't seem to realize that no one can wave a magic wand and then we can go back to "normal" behavior. That if the government decides to ease up a little on the reins, that doesn't mean you should grab the bit in your teeth and run wild. You take baby steps—suck the ice chips, sip the water, venture out a little more, keep your distance, wear a mask—and wait and see. Do what's important, and let the rest wait a bit. 

I know it's time for Central Florida to open up a bit more. Maybe well past time. In hindsight, for hospitals to have cancelled all non-essential procedures probably did more harm than good. True, those ICU beds and respirators were there and available for the expected overwhelming onslaught of COVID-19 cases, but that hasn't come yet, and in the meantime many people have suffered unnecessarily. It's time we started replacing hips again.

But if we go crazy, if we flout the rules and recommendations, if we get careless, we once again risk bringing on COVID-19 infections at a rate greater than our medical system can handle. So I welcome the news that we've taken a step towards normal, but recognize it as a yellow flag, not a green one.

Therefore, we continue to be cautious, our children having taken pains to make sure we know we are old and therefore in a high-risk group. So there's not much to report from here. Just one short trip to the grocery store last week, where once again everyone was masked and the store was not crowded. My Google Maps Timeline is repetitious and downright boring. But my life is not!

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 10:19 am | Edit
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Well said. I cringe at all the pictures of bars and restaurants jammed with people.

Posted by Kathy Lewis on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 1:28 pm
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