Re-Entering Society

This week, the Governor of Texas (along with many other states) announced that they will honor the April 30th expiration of last month's "stay-at-home" order - permitting certain businesses to begin reopening with the hope that through several phases, life will return to normal.

As a libertarian, this pleases me. It alarms me the vast overreach the government so easily presumed to take during this crisis. It alarms me how easily Americans handed over their rights. It alarms me how many so-called freedom loving people found ways to justify the government over reach.

As a concerned citizen, I do worry about the health and well-being of myself, my family and everyone else. I read that in Dallas County yesterday's death count included a teenager. That is sad and scary. There is certainly a dangerous component to this virus where even young people are at risk.

But people throw around statistics to validate their side of the story. Those fear mongering throw around huge numbers in the tens of thousands of people being killed by this virus. But we must also remember: several weeks ago the government told us that they expected the death toll to exceed 150,000 by this time, and we are under 60,000. In 2017 in the U.S., 80,000 people died of the seasonal flu.

Other people trying to justify taking no precaution at all state that this disease only affects the old, the infirm, or the already weakened. They will cite statistics that are in the tenths of a percentage to demonstrate risk and try to mock those who are concerned.

There is truth on both sides. I think we should be cautious but not paranoid. I think long term isolation and sheltering is doing more harm to society than the benefit we get by reducing the spread of the virus. The truth is, child abuse cases coming out of this are heartbreaking. People are relapsing into addictions, and many people are abusing prescribed medications. People are anxious and stressed, many are depressed being separated from loved ones. Some have lost their businesses and everything they have.

I did in fact test negative on the antibody test for the corona virus. I was disappointed by this, as it means I am at risk just like everyone else. With asthma, that risk is slightly up. However, I have isolated now for seven weeks. What about herd immunity? If I stay home until the risk is completely eradicated it may be months before I go out. And what if this resurfaces next season as experts now predict?

I intend over the next few weeks to slowly and safely return to normal life. I am hoping my gym reopens in the coming weeks. I will get a hair cut as soon as humanly possible. But I will wash my hands, give other people their space, and it'll probably be a while before I permit someone to hug me. I want to go out and support local businesses and help people return to normal, but I will do so without shaking their hands.

I don't believe it is ever the government's place to tell us what we cannot do in a free society. I feel even to make recommendations is sort of an over reach (I don't need a nanny!), but if they want to make a suggestion to take precaution that is one thing. To prohibit and go so far as levying fines against people for opening their businesses is a gross abuse of power. People need to use their best judgement and yes, that means some people will die. But we have people dying at pandemic levels across this country everyday from making poor life style choices and the government is doing nothing to prevent that.

I value life. I also value having something to live for.

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