JIM SHARPE

The perfect pandemic sitcom is ‘Ducey in the Middle’

Jun 30, 2020, 11:15 AM | Updated: 1:14 pm
(Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)...
(Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)
(Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

Maybe it’s time for a reboot of Malcolm in the Middle. With all due respect to its star, Frankie Muniz (who lives in Arizona), it should be recast. This version should star Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Being so true to life, Dougie in the Middle would be an instant hit — because after announcing that he’s shutting down bars, gyms and water recreation options for 30 days to combat our coronavirus case surge, he seems to be in the middle of the argument between the “too much” and the “too little” crowds.

Or maybe we should reboot a different sitcom and call this remake Everybody Hates Doug.

Because that’s really what it feels like.

Ticked off over “too much” is Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten. He not only defied Gov. Ducey’s executive order by opening his gyms Tuesday morning, he’s suing the governor over it.

And in the other corner of this tag-team beatdown are 1,100 medical providers who signed a petition (delivered the same day Ducey announced the new coronavirus closings) which asks that restaurants be moved back to takeout options only and demanding that he issue a new stay-at-home order.

Shutting down our economy again (essentially what these Arizona health professionals want) would be a huge mistake because other physicians have said that COVID shutdowns can lead to an equal number of deaths as those caused directly by the disease itself. When you factor in the mental health effects of job loss and isolation and the reduction of medical care for diseases other than COVID-19 — due to a sole focus on coronavirus or because the fear of coronavirus keeps people from seeking and getting the treatment they need — that makes sense.

And there’s disagreement among doctors as to what schools should look like, whom should attend — and when they should even open. The governor delayed the opening of physical classrooms about two weeks later for most districts.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics says kids need to be back in school learning in a classroom because it’s fundamental to their development and well-being.

And they say it’s safe for most kids (and their families) not just because kids don’t seem to get very sick from COVID-19 but because they say there’s mounting evidence that children hardly ever even catch it— and that means it’s uncommon that they spread it (to their teachers or their relatives, for example).

Geez, I feel like us adults need to go back to school in order to understand what are the right things to be doing. Problem is, there are so many conflicting schools of thought that we won’t stand a chance of knowing what the right answers are for the final exam.

We want to hear from you.

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The perfect pandemic sitcom is ‘Ducey in the Middle’