How soon is too soon to open the country? Try Easter brunch
There’s a classic ’80s tune by The Smiths that I really like called “How Soon Is Now?“
That title is close, but it’s not the question that’s on everybody’s mind right now. Instead, Morrissey and the boys need to compose a song entitled, “How Soon Is Too Soon?“
How soon is too soon to stop living our lives at home compliments of coronavirus? How soon is too soon to open America up for business again?
President Trump said this week that he’d “love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter.”
That’d be great!
But Easter is only about 2 ½ weeks away (3 ½ weeks away if you celebrate Orthodox Easter).
According to a lot of experts, that’s way too soon for people to be packing the pews in church. (Although… could a socially-distanced outdoor sunrise service work?)
Serving Easter brunch at restaurants is not on Dr. Terry Simpson’s menu. KTAR News 92.3 FM’s medical expert says, “The more places where restaurants are seen with a population, the greater number of people get infected.”
So if I was advising Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, I’d suggest that we not only not open restaurants now – we should consider opening them last.
But the governor is in no hurry to open anything too soon. He told KTAR News’ Mike Broomhead, “We want to get things back opened up as soon as possible but it’s going to have to be in guidance with the Centers For Disease Control and public health.”
We haven’t even arrived at the point where Ducey’s closed everything (except essential services) in Arizona and staying home is still just a suggestion – not an order – and people are already clamoring to get back to normal?
Hey – I get it. I used to be a small business owner and when you’re in that boat, your family’s economic health is totally riding on biz being open.
Then, you’ve got the people who say they are willing to risk their lives in order to not risk their children and grandchildren‘s future. Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick posed this question on Fox News: “As a senior, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for all your children and grandchildren?”
He then answered his own question. “Let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to living. Let’s be smart about it and those of us who are 70-plus we’ll take care of ourselves.”
But how healthy will our economy be after the thousands of more coronavirus-related deaths we might have if we turn on America’s “open” sign too soon? And think about the health care costs of taking care of all the 70-plus people. How much of a toll would that take on our economy?
We are in a tough spot – with no obvious answers.
But in deciding whose advice to follow, I think we all need to remember that medical doctors aren’t economists – and economists aren’t medical doctors.
And, except in a few rare cases, politicians are neither.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.