Changing the Rules Mid-Game

When we began all of this COVID-19 panic the week of March 16th, 2020, the goal was fairly clear.  We need to take drastic measures to flatten the curve, or in other words, avoid the spike in serious cases that might overwhelm our hospitals and urgent care facilities as happened in Italy.  At the time, this seemed like a reasonable course of action.  We trade off some civil liberties temporarily in order to slow the spread of this new virus.  The idea was that it would be a short-term matter.  Stay at home.  Yes, you might lose your job.  Maybe your business won’t survive.  But the survival of humanity seemed to hang in the balance.

So we stayed at home.  We social distanced.  We washed our hands.  We treated each other like garbage as we fought and hoarded.  But, hey.  Everybody wants to live, don’t they?

Well, it worked.  We flattened the curve.  Or at least according to some sources we have.  Other sources vehemently deny this.  But regardless, even common sense can see that we are not being overwhelmed with massive caseloads of severely sick and dying people.  Although there are some hot spots where there have been more serious cases, even those places really haven’t been overwhelmed.  Although there are people at risk with this virus (as with any virus), that number seems drastically lower than we feared in mid-March.

At this point many people are beginning to say that given the situation, we should begin easing restrictions.

What they – and the rest of us – are going to find out is that it’s a lot easier to give up civil liberties than it is to reclaim them.

California Governor Gavin Newsom now insists that “We are not going back to normal until we get to immunity or a vaccine.”  That’s a much different demand than flattening the curve.  The fact that he has to state it this way demonstrates that we have indeed flattened the curve and now those inclined to keep a tight hold on the reins have to find other reasons to do so.

He’s also stated that for some organizations – including religious organizations – restrictions will not be eased for months.

That is not what we all somewhat begrudgingly or eagerly agreed to back in March.  It isn’t what we agreed to as over 25 million people filed for unemployment this month.  It isn’t what we agreed to in voluntarily suspending religious services.  It isn’t what we  agreed to, weighing the damage done to the indeterminate future through massive additions to our government debt and the destruction of many small and even medium or large sizes businesses – perhaps even industries.

Now citizens need to get up and start figuring out how to retrieve the civil liberties we so easily and fearfully gave up seven weeks ago because the longer we allow them to be suspended, the harder they’re going to be to get back.  If we ever get them back.  Because certainly there will be some new reason to extend states of emergency and other measures even if the COVID-19 pandemic plays itself out (as it obviously is doing all over the world).

The curve has flattened.  It’s time for leaders to put the people back in charge of determining how they remain safe while rebuilding their lives and businesses.


One Response to “Changing the Rules Mid-Game”

  1. When the King is Law in a Democracy | Living Apologetics Says:

    […] citizens of counties and states and not by the people elected to run the government. As I argued months ago, if our elected representatives are not impacted by the rules they make, there is no natural […]

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