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No Matter What We Do, COVID-19 Is Here to Stay

Robert Dimuro

Posted on July 11, 2020 15:00

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Let's accept this fact, behave as rational adults, and make our own risk assessments about engaging in the economy.

Starting around mid-June, the amount of new COVID-19 cases began to increase nationwide after a gradual but steady decline in new cases since the initial outbreak. Amazingly, the public had deluded itself into a false hope that COVID-19 would gradually fizzle away after outbreak no. 1, which is why, somehow, Americans were blindsided once again by outbreak no. 2 — reacting with the same emotional frenzy that led us down a path of irrational decision making in the first place. Simply put, this has to stop.

Am I being controversial for saying that? I have no idea. What I do know is that America is sliding down a slippery slope to the Dark Ages. The inevitable conclusion of shutting down whole sectors of the economy until the virus is gone would be the destruction of American life as we know it. Entire industries, which took decades of American spirit and perseverance to build, would be regulated out of existence by executive fiat.

From a larger perspective, it's undeniable that safeguarding every possible human life has a price tag, one that we're making unreasonably hefty when it comes to COVID-19. This may sound crass, but we set this price tag every time we leave our front door. For example, we could easily program our cars to not exceed 30 mph, which would undeniably save many thousands of lives. However, we don't do this because it's not worth the inconvenience to society.

In the case of the COVID-19 lockdowns, we aren't talking about annoyingly longer drive times; we're talking about industries with many thousands of businesses and many more thousands of human lives being ruined. From a historical perspective, this response is mind-boggling. It would be as if we suspended plane travel to and from America after 9/11 until we eradicated every terrorist organization and sleeper cell in the entire world. 

At this point, we need to turn down our panic dials over the fear of dying from COVID-19, as, for the vast majority of Americans, the risk of dying from it is about the same as the risk of dying from one's daily drive to and from work. This is not to dismiss the fact that having COVID-19 can be a serious affliction for many people (although many are also asymptomatic), but it is to say that we need to allow individuals to make their own risk assessments about participating in the economy.

In a sense, although the "human life price tag" argument is a solid one, it's almost beside the point. What we know scientifically about COVID-19 is very limited, and our source of information — China — is not reliable. Furthermore, we have no idea how many lives the lockdown has actually saved, as there's no control variable for such a thing. So, the question is: are we going to be continually blindsided by outbreak after outbreak, or will we accept that COVID-19 is here to stay no matter what we do?

Robert Dimuro

Posted on July 11, 2020 15:00

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Source: CNN

The US economy is reopening and the labor market is bouncing back after dramatic losses during the height of the Covid-19...

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