Please don’t destroy the country for me

I’m 64 and have a congenital blood disorder. It causes pulmonary emboli – blood clots, especially in my lungs. Twice, it almost killed me. I have what the docs call “an underlying respiratory condition.”

Since I was diagnosed and began treatment with daily blood thinners years ago, this condition is manageable (so long as I avoid skiing into a tree which would likely cause me to bleed to death). In fact, I’ll probably live another 20 years. I’m not asking for sympathy, and I don’t need it.

Save your sympathy for our country and our world, especially for younger people like my daughters.

You know the story. The consumption of raw bats in China transmitted a bat virus to humans. The Chinese initially tried to conceal the severity of the outbreak, thereby allowing it to spread. Later they manufactured a story that it was planted by the American military.

Now the virus has spread around the world. It’s similar to other viruses of its type, but unpredictable in its virulence and lethality. A pandemic has been declared. That means the virus is worldwide and difficult to contain or treat. Bans on foreign travel into the United States initially lessened the impact here, but now we’re catching up.

So far, the virus has killed about 20,000 people including about 1,000 Americans. There are signs that the growth curve may be inflecting, or maybe not. The final worldwide death toll could be in the millions, but will probably be in the hundreds of thousands.

Older people with underlying respiratory issues – people like me – are especially susceptible. Roughly speaking, I might have about a 20% chance of dying if I contract the virus. A highly disproportionate number of the victims will be people like me.

Younger people typically (not always) develop only minor symptoms or none at all. Their death rate is apparently on the order of 1%.

To fight the virus, much of the world has shut down “non-essential” businesses. Here in Aspen, of course, that leaves open the liquor stores and pot shops. Until the governor ordered them to close, Aspen Skiing Company also continued to operate their ski mountains which they characterized as “a vital public service.”

It’s Aspen.

This shutdown of the worldwide economy was noticed by the stock market. It went down about a third in the biggest monthly decline in history. It’s hard for businesses to make money when they’re closed.

Politicians moved to inject money into the economy. After fighting over the usual stuff, like whether the virus necessitated more money for taxpayer-funded abortions and same-day voting registration, they finally succeeded in passing legislation that borrows a few (more) trillion dollars from our children to spend now.

Fine, calamitous times call for draconian action.

But for how long?  The economy cannot stay shut down forever. Everyone outside the Bernie Sanders campaign knows that we cannot just print money to buy groceries, cars, TV’s and computers forever.

Generating wealth requires work. The kind you can’t do from home.

Do we keep the economy shut down for a year? That would produce an economic apocalypse that would dwarf the Great Depression. How about a half year? That would require years or perhaps decades to recover from.

How about two months? Even that would produce tremendous hardship and dislocation on millions of people who are trying to manage their retirements, go to college or pay their mortgages.

Grandiloquent politicians say we should keep the economy shut down interminably if that saves “even one life.”

That’s demagoguery. Here in the real world apart from political posturing, we look at costs versus benefits. In the time that the virus has taken 1,000 American lives, we’ve lost over twice as many to traffic deaths and several times as many to the flu.

Nobody says we should stop driving in order to save a single American life on the highways. Nobody even says we should stop driving in order to save the 30,000 lives per year that we lose on the highways.

So stop the demagoguery. Or at least stop it on my account. I’ll be extra-careful.

My generation had it easy compared to our parents and grandparents. After a lifetime of comfort, it’s not too much to ask me and my old friends to avoid crowds. To wash our hands frequently. To use hand sanitizer.

If against all odds, I still get the virus, I’ll deal with it. If against even greater odds, I die from it, I’ll deal with that too.

The one thing I cannot deal with is destroying the country I love, the world I cherish and the opportunity for the next generation to similarly love and cherish.

So re-open our country soon. Re-open your lives. Re-open the world. A hunkered down life is no life at all.

18 thoughts on “Please don’t destroy the country for me

  1. Here’s my post: I’m 68. I have diabetes. I’m very aware that I am vulnerable to not only this virus but many other diseases. I’ve been lucky my entire life not to have ever had the flu even though I’ve only had a flu shot for the last couple of years. Measles, chicken pox, mumps, tonsillitis, a sinus infection, bronchitis, a few colds….yes. But never the flu. This latest virus may be the one I get and, based on the hysteria published by the media, I am extremely vulnerable to this one. I get it.

    So what do I do? I take precautions. I stay home because, at my age and being retired and living on retirement income, I don’t have to worry about paying my bills. If I have to buy a needed item from a grocery store I carry sanitizing wipes to wipe down my grocery cart and my hands as I’m shopping. I keep my distance from others. I wash my hands when I get home. I even wipe down the items I bought. I had to tell my grandson it would be best if he didn’t visit with me at this time. When my daughter comes to bring food she picked up for me we keep our distance from each other (hard to do when I just want to hug her). I order other things online to have delivered. I’m doing everything I can to save myself from this disease.

    I am appalled at the current situation in the country. I am angry that a virus brought to us by a country that has little regard for human life has managed to bring my beloved country to a halt. I am angry at our representatives who have completely devolved into whimpering gutless cowards in the face of this threat.

    I love myself. I don’t have a death wish. But I have more love for my daughter and grandchildren. I would rather sacrifice myself if need be to ensure their futures. And I keep in mind that contracting this virus is not necessarily a death sentence. But if so, then so be it.

    The country needs to get back to work. Now.

  2. Dr Beaton, Another classic, please stay well. I just prayed for you. I hope that Trump gets All the Congressional leaders together and makes the decision to open up the rules with no partisanship. Then he can work with places having severe issues and give direct help, i.e NYC is going to be a disaster. Lessons Learned for Future: Get out of debt and no more spending bills. Stop trying to bolster big cities; set the people free. The media profession is a disaster and needs to be reformed; does anyone believe anonymous sources anymore? Gold standard and a Constitutional Amendment for a balanced budget.

  3. What we need is not a recap of what happened or encouragement for the can do spirit of the American people. This has exposed the sad state of government bureaucracy that left our states and federal government paralyzed. We now see that CDC, FDA, NIH, FEMA are jammed with restrictions and regulations that have evolved over many years of lobbying and self interest. They view themselves as permanent, unelected, lifetime arms of government. Unacceptable that not one of the state or federal protection agencies ever developed a disaster plan to deploy in a pandemic. The film Contagion should have raised a red flag – masks? Respirators? Vaccines?

    • There is indeed a federal disaster plan, but it’s up to the states to get masks and respirators and build hospitals and have sufficient beds to handle increased traffic. Vaccine development is largely in the private sector, though usually funded by the fedgov.

    • “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
      Thomas Sowell

  4. Glen,
    As almost always you are right on with your piece. Consciously or subconsciously I think the Dems/MSM are hoping for an economic disaster that may usher Trump out of office…even though he was the only major player to recognize the COVID19 virus early and start with the China travel restrictions and subsequent Europe the UK and Ireland restrictions.

  5. We who love God, while not wishing to die, don’t fear dying. With Glenn Beaton, we don’t want the world to stop for us. Life is for living, not for cowering down.

  6. I’m in… read “Splendid and the Vile “ Churchills first year as P M 1941-1942.
    London was bombed for 9 months straight..London had 24,000 fatalities and daily life continued….give this stay at home policy 3 weeks.. longer will cause economic
    And social

  7. Your article prompts me to count my blessings. I’m 68 and have been outside to soak in the Florida sunshine at least twice today. I urge all to get out of the house, if only your back yard, and let it be…

  8. The decision to flatten the curve has been made. The effectiveness of that decision will be more clear next year. YOU, politicizing the coronavirus, are making things worse. Be a good American and stop Monday morning quarterbacking after the first set of downs.

    • Apart from opining on the folly of politicians — in a general, non-partisan manner, I don’t see how Glenn has “politicized” the subject. Furthermore, if we’ve only seen “the first set of downs,” then it’s still Sunday, and he can’t be said to be doing “Monday morning quarterbacking.” Indeed, the time to comment is now, not next year, when it will be too late to have altered course.

  9. “I hear what you’re saying Glenn, and I hear what healthcare professionals are saying. Besides the infected, the next most affected identifiable group would be (and may be #1 now) those healthcare professionals. Without sufficient PPEs, ICUs, etc., re-opening the country would be like throwing our nation’s healthcare professionals to the lions when the number of infected exceeds our professional care capabilities. It would mean long-term societal chaos to compliment the likely potential of long-term economic chaos. I’m figuring, we spend the trillions now, or spend it shortly thereafter.
    Right now, to me it seems like the cure is worse than the disease. But in a few weeks, all the hyper-preparation may prove to be essential and wise decision making.
    Our President said Tuesday that he’d like to see the country back to work by Easter. More than a few condemned him for his aspirational optimism for the nation. Imagine the public scorn (95% of the media have no love for #45) if a thousand or more nurses and physicians succumb to the disease.”

  10. Hello all, I am 69 y.o. male, and have all diseases listed by the CDC as debilitating. I also have 265 hours of education and an advanced degree. I worked as a professional in the health field for twenty three years and enjoyed every day. I was struck down by delayed onset PTSD 14 years ago, and have been blessed by the best tx. that man has for this disease; however, I’ve been rendered about as sharp as a baseball. Now, on to where the rubber meets the road: May God Bless all health care professionals that are going above and beyond into an unknown future with their expedient countermeasures. Our president has unarguably put together an A+ team, led by VP Pence; with wiz kids DRs. Birx, Fauci, and Adams. I want to let you know that we citizens of the United States of America are proud of you, and you are our Heroes.

  11. I would hope that we can strike a balance between legitimate concerns for the economy, people’s health, and their mental health (which is threatened by too much isolation). That might consist of gradually relaxing some prohibitions — such as opening restaurants with the provision that every other table be vacated and people not be allowed to queue up waiting for tables. Likewise for various forms of public transit — prohibit sitting next to strangers. Do these things on a trial basis and monitor the results before expanding the process.

  12. I wonder what would happen if the ski resorts become infected with the chinease corona virus? Theres a french guy in redstone who runs a small hotel who deserves a dose of covid also. The guy was a total jerk to my family about 5 years ago & treats his mexican maids like crap.

  13. “If I get it, I’ll deal with it. If I die, I’ll handle that, too.”

    I’ve been quoting this line in American Thinker and elsewhere. America seems to think the worst thing is that somebody might die. Death would be an improvement in many lives.

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