Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

EDITORIAL: Government’s Response to COVID-19 is Crushing

COVID-19, a virus which falls under the classification of coronavirus, is spreading across the U.S. at an alarming rate. Everyday more people are infected, and with serious consequences for those 50 and over, everyone must do what they can to help slow the spread of this new virus.

Each of us has a social responsibility to wash our hands, cover our mouths when we cough, and stay at home even if we think we may be ill.

We also have a responsibility to know and calculate our own health risks. If you are a 60 year old diabetic with high blood pressure, or a 22 year old with asthma, you should probably stay at home as much as possible.

As adults, we monitor our own health risks all the time. We decide whether and how often we smoke, drink hard liquor, eat fresh vegetables, take supplements or wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.

For the past several days local, county and state governments have been closing schools, libraries, and recreation centers, and limiting gatherings in the hope of slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. First gatherings were limited to 500 people, then to 250 people, and now to 50 people.

Monday the Dallas County ordered the closing of all bars, lounges, taverns, night clubs, gyms and health clubs, theaters, and entertainment or amusement venues such as arcades and billiard halls. Restaurants are allowed to remain open for drive-through, delivery, and take-out service, while dine-in service is prohibited.

Many of the businesses targeted by the Dallas order are small businesses. How are small businesses to survive without income? How are their employees expected to survive without a job?

A few cities have gone further by ordering all non-essential businesses to close. What is a non-essential business? Every business is essential to those who depend upon it for their livelihoods.

A person’s social responsibility to help slow the spread of a virus does not extend to losing her job or business, going bankrupt, losing her home, filing bankruptcy, and taking on debt which will take years to pay back.

Our government’s unprecedented response to a virus that is already spreading rapidly in the general population is ruining our economy and punishing our most vulnerable workers. Those among us who have been brave enough to benefit society by starting a business and offering employment to others could now find themselves in financial ruin. This is not a reasonable response to a health crisis.

COVID-19 appeared in China in December. The virus is just now receding and life is returning to normal. December to March is three months (conservatively.) Most Americans do not have enough savings to sustain themselves without work for three months.

By mid-summer, many of us may look back at COVID-19 as a tragedy that stole loved ones and friends away from us. I sincerely hope not. I am deeply concerned for our elderly and our young people with health conditions. And I really do see that we are only now at the beginning of something terrible.

However, the panic surrounding COVID-19 will hurt so many more people in the long run. This constant, useless fear will steal away countless people’s homes, jobs, marriages, college hopes, retirement funds and financial stability.