It seems like at least a month ago — Monday of last week. We watched a toned-down president, almost tethered to his manuscript, as he joined our world. The coronavirus was no longer a “Democratic hoax” which we have “totally under control” that could “... totally disappear ... like a miracle.” He now claimed, “I felt like it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

Maybe he had actually begun to listen to Drs. Fauci, Birx and Redfield. At this point, extreme social distancing was needed to, hopefully, flatten the curve. Groups should be limited to no more than ten people. He made it clear that we needed to take immediate action to avoid a possible healthcare catastrophe.

Later we learned of a creditable British report that predicted over two million of us could die if our nation did not take quick action against this COVID-19 pandemic. That certainly was an attention grabber!

It now appears that the president’s conversion to science-based reasoning is wavering. His economic advisers are telling him that he overreacted.

But it is the stock market that really has him in a tight spot. That is what was going to get him reelected. Now, he really does need a miracle, and he needs it fast. If the economy makes a wide-bottomed U instead of a V, he is toast. 

Unfortunately, science sometimes can’t be rushed. Will he prematurely proclaim a victory and throttle back on our social distancing after trying it only fifteen days? Right now, it appears that we may be moving the ball away from our own goal line, but he may choose to throw a hail Mary pass before it has any chance of success!

Let’s only make that call after we have data that shows the curve has been flattened. Our lives may well depend upon it, but we will be putting our healthcare providers at tremendous risk. They are already at risk because of the shortage of Personal Protection Equipment. As tests become more available, we know our system could be overwhelmed.

Maybe we will see another miracle. In this life or death battle, could the GOP show some mettle and prod the president to stick with his medical advisors recommendations and continue social distancing. Even Lindsay Graham, along with multiple state governors need to be heeded.

We have been warned that we are in a marathon, not a sprint. We all hope that we can soon see data showing that the curve has been flattened. Only then can we breathe a sigh of relief and start rebuilding our economy.

 

Larry Hahn

Winfield

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(1) comment

Mary and Gary

Very well reasoned thoughts, Larry. As someone who used to run 26.2 mile races, I found your "marathon, not a sprint" metaphor especially meaningful - long distance runners know they need a plan to finish the race successfully, and getting ahead of themselves by starting out too fast spells disaster. Hope that our leaders are finally facing into the steps to run this long distance race against COVID-19.

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