By David Rogers. March 16, 2020. BLOWING ROCK, NC – If the ne’er-do-wells of the world were looking for something that would bring America to her knees, they apparently found our vulnerabilities in COVID-19.
From universities to elementary schools, our educational institutions are closed. Special events, concerts, theatre performances: canceled if more than 100 people will gather. Doctors’ offices are even calling to cancel patient appointments and reschedule them two or three weeks out.
…speaking of runs, just try to find a roll of toilet paper on the shelves of your local supermarket.
Many churches closed their doors for services on Sunday, parishioners left to prayerfully beseech God in another venue to spare them from the ravages of the pandemic. Perhaps they found solace in the fact that their fireplace-fronting easy chairs from where they watched February’s Super Bowl were a comfortable substitute for hard wooden pews. And in self-administering communion, they got to drink a real Cabernet Sauvignon instead of grape juice!
We haven’t heard of any runs on the banks but, speaking of runs, just try to find a roll of toilet paper on the shelves of your local supermarket.
When a sports reporter finds it challenging to find even a Tiddlywinks game to cover anywhere in the world…. Well, the global landscape has changed in dramatic fashion. No NBA games. No NCAA Basketball Championships. No high school track & field, baseball, or softball. No middle school, either.
Nix on NASCAR. It’s almost sacriligeous to postpone or cancel The Masters in Augusta. We trample on hallowed ground in postponing Opening Day of Major Legue Baseball. Maybe we’ll find opportunity on the weekend when the “seniors” gather in Blowing Rock’s Memorial Park to show off their pickleball talents.
Critics of the seeming mass hysteria certainly have a point when they suggest that most people even exposed to the coronavirus don’t get sick, much less have their lives threatened. So are all of these state-mandated Draconian measures really necessary?
Because at this time we chose to sacrifice pleasure and profit to protect the human species.
Well, apparently the answer is “yes.” While older white males with a history of smoking are at greater risk, at least by many reports, COVID-19 has proven not to discriminate based on race, gender, age, morality, or geography.
If “social distancing” helps soften the blow – the spread — of the pandemic, then the Draconian measures instituted mostly by state and local governments are appropriate, despite the financial impact on corporate balance sheets and income statements, as well as on the assets comprising investor portfolios.
On a national level, President Trump may not have caused the global pandemic, but often seems to be in denial that it is occurring. Whether tweeting or speaking from the Rose Garden, he often brushes aside or minimizes the disease’s deadly potential if not stemmed.
In defiance of President Trump’s slack posture regarding the real threat and his campaign-mode bluster in this time of crisis, self-imposed local and state measures restricting large groups, as well as similar private sector steps represent the surest path to protecting precious human life as this pandemic runs its course. It may not be my life or my best friend’s life that is at risk and saved, but maybe that of my neighbor’s, my business associates, your friends and family members, or the lives of people I have not met and am never destined to meet – all saved because we chose at this time to sacrifice pleasure and profit to protect the human species.
POSTSCRIPT: And for those local folks thinking that Watauga County and the High Country are not at risk, this morning there are reports that an international-traveling employee of Samaritan’s Purse tested positive upon his return to Boone. He may now be self-quarantined but, assuming these reports are true, who and how many came in close contact with him before being tested? And who has come in close contact with those people?