Printed in the Herald-Times, May 6, 2020
To the Editor:
Obviously Trey Hollingsworth was right when he said we have to accept some risk to re-open the economy. He said this because he has compassion for people who are at risk of losing everything.
Here is a comparison: Over 35,000 people die every year from automobile accidents. There have been millions of traffic fatalities since I was born, and we could save many lives if we banned the automobile. But we do not. We have decided that it is worth sacrificing these lives to have the convenience of the automobile.
Is this a perfect comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic? Nope. There are significant differences. But things do not have to be equal to be compared.
We cannot stay locked down forever. This will lead to many “deaths of despair” from suicide, alcoholism and addiction. If we have a global famine from this man-made economic depression, many more could die from starvation, especially in developing nations. Those screeching that this is about “lives vs. money” are being dishonest.
Temporary “stay at home” orders to prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed are wise, but unsustainable in the long term. We can re-open while being responsible about social distancing and wearing masks.