Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The COVID-19 Conundrum


Opinion by: 
E. Eugene Webb PhD

It's hard to know what to do these days as it relates to the coronavirus.

President Trump tells us we are turning the corner, federal health officials tell us the worst is yet to come. The number of cases is spiking, and the death rate continues to rise.

Virtually every governor in every state has his or her own idea of what the impact of the coronavirus is on their citizens. Some say close it down, some say keep it open, some say test more, some say test less.

The competition between the coronavirus and the economy is stressing all of us out.

As the coronavirus continues to rage throughout the United States, and the death count rises almost exponentially the level of concern rises equally fast.

On the flip side, the practicality of shutting down the economy is just simply not there.

We've already seen the effects of shutting down the economy, the impact on businesses small and large and the devastating effects on employees laid off or furloughed is almost beyond measure.

Closing down the economy creates more concern, more civil unrest, more stress and potentially long-lasting economic damage.

At this point, it seems like the public is more concerned about their economic security than the potentially fatal effects of the coronavirus.

As the election winds down, and it appears Donald Trump will be president for four more years, the question is what will we do with the coronavirus?

In retrospect, there was never any serious detail about Biden’s plan to get the "coronavirus under control" and I think the real fear was Biden’s statement that he would listen to the public health officials.

The great danger was if Biden got elected Doctor Fauci would test that premise and recommend a major shutdown of the US economy. Biden would have been immediately caught on the horns of a dilemma.

What would Biden have done? Fulfill his campaign promise and listen to the public health officials and shut down the economy causing an economic disaster, or ignored their advice and risk incurring the wrath of all his supporters.

I do not look for any major change in approach when Trump takes office in January.

Don't look for a nationwide mask mandate or a wide scale closing of the economy.

Trump will likely leave the shutdown decisions up to the states and be critical of those decisions if they are heavy handed. For the most part he will ignore the death rate.

I think he will simply ride it out, wait for a vaccine and some therapeutics to reduce the death rate and keep on trucking.

More uncertainty, more unknown, a lot more stress.

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