President Trump said today in a town hall meeting he would love to have the country “opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” Here is the way I’m looking at it …
President Trump is absolutely correct in delineating there are two tracts we must act on, balancing daily the human health costs with the substantial human economic costs (especially among vulnerable people), both of which run deep to the bone and are painful. We have imperfect data and tools for each, but we need to continue to make those difficult policy decisions based on science and human welfare data, both of which change daily.
Yes … We are in unprecedented times, with governments having no choice but to use incomplete and rapidly evolving information to determine how to best keep us safe … its first priority …as well as to ensure resilience of our economy to maintain food and housing and basic human needs.
Though weeks too early to implement, NOW is the time to begin to thoughtfully plan how we will systematically reopen our economy — schools, small businesses, restaurants, and get people back to work. The infection will get much worse and accelerate in Tennessee. If we drop our societal commitment to social distancing at this time — today — it will lead to a catastrophic overload of our hospitals with unnecessary death — as we are seeing now in New York City and Italy.
Social distancing comes at a painful human cost as people lose jobs, lose paychecks, lose access to free lunches, sacrifice education, and can’t pay their mortgages. But communities through nonprofits and foundations and financial outreach are coming together in amazing and creative ways. The best of our communities must continue to come together to focus on the most vulnerable.
Progress is being made because we are all, citizens and government, pulling together. Citizens are sacrificing painfully but admirably for the good of humanity. Our community spirit is strong and our mutual caring for each other is powerful and is the reason we win this unprecedented battle.
Hear more on the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic and the recommended steps to keep you and your family safe with our continuing COVID-19 series: