Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Flattening the curve, then moving the goal posts

The Issues and Insights editorial board takes a look at actions that have been taken nationwide to combat Covid-19.
Weary of more than two months of lockdowns, lost jobs, vanished income, and emotional distress, Americans are practicing a bit of Irish Democracy, shopping, dining out, gathering, and trying to carry on as before the pandemic arrived without approval from authorities. It was bound to happen.

As has been widely noted, we were initially told that we needed to shut down and shelter in place so that we would “flatten the curve” of infection growth to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed by people sick with COVID-19. That benchmark was met a little more than a month into the lockdowns. Time magazine reported in late April that “The U.S. Has Flattened the Curve.” This New York Times chart clearly shows that the flattening began early last month.

Yet many Americans are still under shelter-in-place orders, some of which have been extended. We hate to use a cliche, but politicians have been moving the goalposts. Flattening the curve isn’t good enough. They want to keep people home until there’s a vaccine; or science, which has sadly become a loose term that means whatever the user wants it to, has established an effective treatment; or maybe until there are zero coronavirus cases.

This has rankled more than a few. The masses are fed up with huddling in their homes and are yearning to breathe free.
Read more here.

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