With the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, Thanksgiving this year will pose some unusual challenges. What are your plans, and how are they changing from past years? Are you hosting people (and how many)? Traveling somewhere else? Are there any extra precautions you are taking?
As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, having another lockdown has been discussed. Is it a good idea?
The argument for
Other countries that are experiencing a second wave of corona virus cases are instituting a second lockdown. The UK, for instance, has instituted a tiered system to try and contain further spread of the disease.
Closing non-essential businesses and instituting stay-at-home orders should slow the spread of the virus. Some communities are asking for help as the number of new infections is at an all-time high.
The argument against
However, there are significant arguments against extreme measures like a lockdown. Local and national economies are already hurting from earlier efforts to contain the virus. Many businesses have already closed for good, and a record number of people have requested unemployment. Another lockdown would exacerbate economic problems, for both employers and employees.
A stay-at-home order also poses additional risks. Mental health difficulties are surging as well, and many people already struggling with loneliness and depression would face greater struggles. People in abusive situations at home would feel even more at risk as well.
It is not clear that a lockdown is even necessary. After being able to learn about the spread of the virus, relatively simple steps like mask wearing and physical distancing can have a large impact. We now know that the virus is spread primarily through droplets in the breath of those infected. Frequent hand-washing also prevents spread.
Moreover, more is known about treatment. The fatality rate of this second surge in cases is leading to a much lower number of deaths than the early infections in the spring. Increased testing and contact tracing have also been implemented in many communities.
… the number of new cases is rising, including in many communities previously spared. Mandatory mask laws are being enacted in some states. A stay-at-home order — even for a few weeks — might disrupt the spread in many of our communities.
More than 230,000 people are dead, with cases and deaths continuing to rise. It seems something needs to be done.
Do you find that you spend your time worrying about unimportant things, while ignoring big ones?
If so, you’re not alone. Focusing on trivial things is such a part of the human condition, there are even adages warning against it.
For example, take the phrase, “Penny wise, pound foolish.” Saving money on little things is meaningless if you waste money on big-ticket items.
Also, consider the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If we can only focus on the important things in life, it will save us time and even health in the end.
And yet, we often obsess over tiny details. Why would a person may behave this way?
For one, you may not know how to attack a big problem, but you can solve a small one. Thus, you turn your attention to what you know how to do. I can’t fix climate change, so I’m going to obsess on cleaning my house.
Alternately, you may not even realize there is a bigger issue. For example, you may be promoting one political opponent over another, without realizing that money in politics is a corrupting influence on both parties.
Sometimes, a smaller concern is simply more appealing. Ultimately, watching a TV show may not be important, but it’s more fun than doing your taxes.
Whatever the reason, every one of does this to some extent.
To combat this, we need to accurately determine the relative importance of things. In addition, we need to have the determination to tackle the big problems or issues as they come up.
Are there specific minor things that you find yourself obsessing over, at the expense of more significant issues? What unimportant things do you focus on too much?
There seems to be a disagreement between people across the country, and indeed across the world. Is now the time to reopen the economy?
On one side are frustrated protesters, select governors and other politicians, and business owners. Their argument focuses on the economy.
With non-essential businesses shuttered, many small businesses that are crucial to the local economy are not in operation. As a result, the employees that work there are not getting paid, and many of them don’t have much money saved.
This could have catastrophic effects. Those individuals can’t buy food, so their families go hungry or rely on local food banks to eat. Their rent or mortgage doesn’t doesn’t get paid, and those losses accumulate up the financial chain.
Similarly, other medical conditions aren’t treated, which hurts individual health. Property and income taxes aren’t collected, starving local government. In turn, this impacts the prospects for longer-term services. Moreover, the fear over health and financial concerns could exacerbate mental health problems.
On the other side, there is already a huge death toll. In just a few months, more people have died than in the entirety of the years-long Vietnam war. Opening up the community could mean that number could easily double or triple if more people spread the disease. Our health care system is already in crisis in hard-hit areas.
Also, the people likely to be hardest hit are those with the least ability to withstand it. Poor communities, particularly those with high minority populations, are already dying in higher percentages, and that is likely to continue. Those who are already unhealthy, infirm, or immune-compromised will bear the medical and financial brunt.
And to reopen the economy may not do any good if people are afraid to leave their house. Restaurants, for example, can open. However, if most tables are empty every night because most people staying home, they will go out of business anyway.
Ultimately, where do you stand on this issue? Do we need to stay closed for the good of the community? Or open up for the same?