Saturday, April 04, 2020
Had a twitter exchange with someone in Utah that's just left me tense and annoyed this early morning. It's a guy I generally have positive interactions with, but...let's just say he lives in a red state, and values his "freedom", and has quite a high regard for his own "wisdom", and can't understand why Dr Fauci might be calling for a nationwide stay at home order, arguing with that concept on constitutional grounds and utterly ignoring the infectious disease grounds on which Fauci is basing his call. Now, he might even be right, that the president doesn't have authority to issue such an order, different sources will argue that point differently. But trump certainly does have the ability to say that that step should be taken, and has the political capital to move the governors in the last 10 or so states resisting such a move, all republicans, of course, to give those orders. But the president isn't using his bully pulpit in that manner, even as his tone has turned more somber this week, he's still saying it's up to the governors, giving them the political cover to avoid doing what needs to be done.
As for this guy....Maybe he doesn't know any ER Docs who are literally putting their lives, and the lives of their spouses and children at risk every time they go into work to take care of people who have already been infected. Maybe his parents aren't elderly, and thus not in the highest risk categories. I don't know. But it's a frustrating attitude to encounter, especially when you know there are large swaths of the country still not taking Covid-19 seriously and there are tens of millions of people selfishly valuing their freedom over the health and safety of everyone else.
(yes, yes, I know, there's a legitimate argument to be had on that last point, about smoking, or about guns, or about a thousand other things...let me just have this rant and get this angst, and yes, anger, out of my system)
This pandemic is, I dare hope, a once in a lifetime event. Hoping people in those states can see past what I perceive to be selfish interests, and do what needs to be done to help slow the infection rate, and the death toll caused by this virus. And I'm really hoping that guy's freedom, and the freedom of his fellow Utahns doesn't lead to the deaths of any of his family or any of his friends.