Do you sense the tide turning on Coronavirus yet? It’s Common Sense Civics and Citizenship application time.
We have crossed the midpoint in the President’s 15-day timeline (15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)). From the beginning, I was willing to cooperate with this 15-day plan because the future and spread of the virus was unknown. When my state went into quarantine shortly after that, I was livid. It seemed (and still does) so excessive and so unnecessary. How could they restrict my freedom, tell me where I can and can’t go, and prevent me from going there? Frankly, I couldn’t (and still can’t) see the American people cooperating with a shelter in place order indefinitely. They might do it for a time, but we are free-born people. Our Constitution says that We the People run the government, not the other way around. Our Constitution limits government. Our elections facilitate a peaceful transfer of power when we make our voices heard through the ballot box. As I often tell my students, “We run the show!”
Then, my 30-something children called. One said that the most American thing I could do was to slow the spread of the virus by staying home. I made a decision to cooperate for the 15 days to the Slow the Spread campaign and to commit to my state’s quarantine (my word for it) one day at a time.
I take my freedom seriously. So, I determined to listen to the daily Task Force briefings with one eye on the medical component, but the other eye on my freedoms. My son confronted me with this: “Mom, how many lives could you save if you stayed home until the beginning of April? One? 10? 100? Your own life?
Today, I sense Americans becoming restless for an end to this. They need and want to go back to work. They will most likely cooperate and stay home until March 30, but the freedom bell is ringing in their brains. Look at how businesses are repurposing their shop floors to make hand sanitizer and masks! We like to work because we like to provide for our families and ourselves. We like to make things that people want. We want to buy things we need. We like productivity as well as the role of provider. Given the chance to work over staying home and eating Cheetos with a side of TV, we’ll go to work in crowded trains, buses and planes. We like a paycheck that we have earned. We don’t really want a freebie. We’d rather work. That’s in our DNA. I sense the DNA of productivity overtaking the fear of being sick.
Although the medical profession sees the reality of more people testing positive and more deaths, the economic side of the equation matters, too. We need to balance the scales with medicine and economics. Each hour of each day brings more knowledge of the Coronavirus. Each hour of each day brings us closer to wanting some semblance of “normal.”
Come to think of it, tornado season doesn’t care if a deadly virus is around. Cancer doesn’t stop its march throughout the body just because hospitals are full to the brim with patients. Emergency gall bladder surgery doesn’t suddenly take a back seat. Loved ones are born and die, regardless of a quarantine. Our work helps provide for these situations, but it also helps keep our balance when the world has gone off the rails.
I think the best way to get back to some normalcy is for Americans to begin planning to go back to work. In fact, contact the White House, Senators, Representatives, and Governors. Then respectfully (always courteous- no rants or accusations), let your voice be heard.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??