Top comment posted so far tonight on InstaPundit.
There was a Chinese Bat Flu positive in one of our plants so wouldn’t you know it, even though the plants are still running (a good thing), we office workers were sent to work from home (mixed feelings on that one). As such I did what all people who “work” from home do — I spent copious hours of the day browsing the internet, meaning that of course I spent copious amounts of time reading the articles and comments here.
One thing caught my eye in particular — Reynold’s post about his latest USA Today article (nice job, by the way) where he said the following at the end of his post:
“I’ll just add that one thing that has appalled me — in the comments here, on social media, and well, everywhere — is that so many people dealing with a situation full of uncertainty and unreliable data are so dead-certain of their positions and so abusive of people who disagree. And that’s certainly true of both sides in this debate.”
I don’t disagree with that but I do have a somewhat contrarian thought about the “so many people dealing with a situation full of uncertainty and unreliable data are so dead-certain of their positions” part.
To back up a bit, although I’m not on our company’s “Coronavirus Task Force”, I am in a position where those on the task force will listen to what I have to say (although they rejected out of hand my suggestion to name it the “Chinese Bat Flu Task Force”). Anyway, when we got the confirmed positive the first instinct of the task force was to panic and start issuing all sorts of draconian edicts. I weighed in by emailing the following to the task force leaders:
“Regarding the suggested measures in response to the confirmed Covid positive: What was the original reason for social distancing and the shutdowns? To flatten the curve. And what is the purpose of flattening the curve? Not to eradicate the disease but to spread it out over time so that the number of cases requiring hospitalization at any given point in time won’t overwhelm the capacity of the medical community to handle those cases.
“The country has so far achieved that goal such that in NYC, the hottest of the hot spots by far, the 2,500 bed field hospital set up by the military at the Javits Center and the 1,000 bed Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort have been so underutilized that the military medical personnel have instead been deployed into the city hospitals to help out where they can. Hospitals throughout the rest of the country are now furloughing staff due to far lower Covid cases than expected.
“Bear this in mind as you move forward in addressing our evolving circumstances. It was inevitable that we’d see a Covid case here, and we’ll almost certainly see more. But the broader goals across the country to handle those cases are being met and, many would argue, vastly exceeded. Under these circumstances I fail to see the rationale for taking some of the suggested measures that would be damaging to our company and our customers.”
Back to Reynold’s point I mentioned above, while there is much uncertainty about the Chinese Bat Flu, there are also some certainties. One of them that I’m dead-certain of is that we’re quite obviously and ostentatiously moving the goalposts on our own selves. The goals of flattening the curve are being met and, again, vastly exceeded compared to the harsh doom and gloom projections that held sway at the beginning of this crisis, and apparently hold sway still despite the mounting reliable data against them.
Yes, there is more than enough anger to go around. And yes, it shouldn’t be happening during a global crisis where we should all be pulling together. But not all anger is equal. Some anger is justified and some is not. The anger on one side is a determination to start moving back toward normalcy within the context of the American people meeting and exceeding the stated goals of flattening the curve, while the anger on the other side is “There will be mass death unless we institute even more restrictions, hospital capacity numbers be damned, the economy and peoples’ livelihoods be damned. So just shut up and do what we say.” That cannot stand. It will not stand.