Like most Americans, I’ve been watching the Covid-19 issue unfold since before it even had a name of its own. Who could have predicted back in February that it would halt nearly all facets of our normal lives?
Early on Disneyland chose to close, that was shocking to me. Then all the major sports leagues followed suit, and that was before it was mandated. The order that schools, restaurants, movies, parks, beaches and “nonessential” businesses to close was a clear signal that this would be different than anything we’ve ever lived through before.
The way that Covid19 was first presented to us, it was the next worst thing to radioactive fallout from a nuclear blast (yes, that’s hyperbolic, but it makes the point… this was serious). This was predicted to kill at least a quarter of a million people that call the USA home.
Most people were willing to shelter in place, self-isolate, social distance and collectively “take one for the team” in hopes to “flatten the curve” so that our healthcare systems didn’t get overwhelmed.
It was relatively easy at first because it was raining and generally cold outside for what SoCal is accustomed to. But after binging Tiger King and other Netflix offerings, cabin fever hit many as the money started running out for the “nonessentials” who knew they needed to earn money to keep a roof over their heads.
It goes without saying that this virus and the approach our President and our Governor have taken is extraordinary. Sadly, it didn’t take long for the usual partisans to turn this into another partisan issue to fight over. Imagine that, a virus that has no preference as to its host – is now part of the American political discussion for many.
Since our President and our Governor are of different political parties it has given both sides a chance to point fingers and make outlandish politically motivated claims as to the other’s motives.
I recognize that many people are scared here.
People that are afraid of getting the virus and facing a long illness and possibly death. There are people in fear of losing liberties that we as freedom-loving Americans cherish and staunchly guard, and then there’s another group of people that recognize the potential dangers associated with this virus but also must actively make a living so they can provide the basics for their families.
I respect the concerns of all the above, but I think we need to strive to find the middle ground here and jettison the overblown rhetoric that only deepens the divide among us.
It isn’t helpful, on any level, for one side to suggest that the people that want to return to work have no concern for the health of others. Likewise, when the other side calls this virus a hoax, challenging people’s patriotism, that’s destructively foolhardy too, and helps no one.
I believe that both the President and the Governor are in way over their heads, and their inconsistencies throughout this ordeal prove it.
Ok, now what?
We can’t go on forever with most of our economy shuttered. Life has never had a guarantee. Not at any time in the past and not today either.
I see this as a “pro-choice” moment. I believe in personal liberty and believe that in most instances a person should be able to make their own decisions about their lives.
Will there be negative consequences by relaxing the shelter at home orders? Possibly. There could be an uptick in diagnosed Covid19 cases and some of those would result in death.
Will there be negative consequences by continuing the shelter at home orders? I believe so. Many families and businesses of all sizes will be irreparably harmed through no fault of their own… if that hasn’t already happened.
This is a lose-lose situation no matter which path is taken… such is life.
I back the city of Wildomar in petitioning the county and the state to start the process of opening things back up. I’m not saying to ignore safety measures that are in place.
The social distancing will be around for a while. Some businesses could be more affected than others beyond the foreseeable future where there are crowds of people in close quarters, but I believe that we can begin to reopen our lives while including reasonable safety measures.
A bit of personal background.
My wife has always had medical issues dealing with her lungs. To the point that she was medically retired in 2018 at the age of 50. Because, even without Covid19, her pulomonlogist considered her condition to be grave. She’s been ordered to wear a mask in public for more than a year before the rest of us. Her next bout of pneumonia could very well end her life.
With that as a backdrop, neither she nor I believe that our concerns should be shouldered by every other member of the community. No matter which way the President or the Governor choose to take us, we will still be practicing social distancing as much as we can. Our personal “all clear” will only come from my wife’s doctor.
Joseph Morabito, Wildomar City Council, District 3
Submitted by Joseph Morabito