But first . . .
Even FOX News gets it: Trump is unfit. Two minutes.
Joe Biden — take action.
Republicans decry discrimination (no, really!) — against Big Oil.
FOX News again: reporting a hopeful breakthrough on testing, out of Israel. Three breaths, wait a minute, and presto: your result.
So much good stuff to watch, but let me add Ricky Gervais’s After Life to your queue. Each episode under 30 minutes (and just 12 in all). Really wonderful.
And now . . .
Jim: “I agree with reopening the economy while safeguarding the vulnerable. One thing I haven’t seen, though, is an explanation of how we’re supposed to be able to do it.”
→ Such a good question. If it were up to me (thankfully, it is not), I would push most of that down to the individual level.
For example, if you’re elderly or diabetic and live with school-age children from whom you can’t stay properly distanced, I’d leave it to you to decide whether to (a) keep them locked up until they’ve been vaccinated; or (b) find a way to live with your sister, out of harm’s way; or (c) move the children to live with their healthy 35-year-old aunt . . . i.e., figure something out until there’s a vaccine or a cure.
To make this easier, I’d look to the government to offer support . . . e.g., provide living quarters for vulnerable people to stay safe.
But for the millions of schoolchildren who live only with healthy young-ish parents? And who can be taught by healthy young-ish teachers and served meals by healthy cafeteria staff, etc.? THOSE are the kids and teachers and staff I’d see getting back to normal ASAP.
Two things to keep strongly in mind as we continue to grapple with the least bad ways to move forward:
1. People under 25, with the rarest of exceptions, do not die from COVID-19. As you can see, back when there were “only” 68,998 confirmed COVID deaths in America, just 88 were among people under 25. Each truly a tragedy — but not more so than each of the 14,962 non-COVID deaths among the same age group.
2. The same is nearly as true of healthy people under 55. Of the 5,075 who died of COVID-19, a great many were not healthy (which is why we should urge, and assist, anyone in ill health to take extra precautions). Whatever their health pre-COVID, we grieve for every one of them — but no more than we grieve for each of the 100,769 in the same age cohort who died of non-COVID tragedies.
(In Italy, of 29,692 total COVID-19 deaths, just 332 have been among people under 50.)
It is not crazy to allow young-ish healthy people to go about their lives — wearing masks, washing hands, socially distancing, and getting tested, as appropriate — while we find smart, compassionate ways to protect the vulnerable.
The third thing to keep strongly in mind is that tens of thousands of fine American lives could have been spared if Trump had not eviscerated the CDC “forward” team in China, had not gutted Obama’s pandemic preparedness systems, and had not negligently ignored more than a dozen urgent warnings. Including Joe Biden’s warning January 27 in USA Today.
Does needlessly losing tens of thousands of American lives rise to the level of a “high crime or misdemeanor” even if, in the eyes of the Republican Senate, collusion with Russia and multiple obstruction-of-justice felonies do not?