Fandango’s Provocative Question (6 May 2020)

Wednesday. Fandango’s Provocative Question once again. This week, he asks:

Do you think it’s premature for states to be lifting the stay-at-home, shelter-in-place, and social distancing restrictions? Or do you believe that it’s about time they were rescinded? Once they are removed, how quickly are you likely to resume living your life as you did in the pre-pandemic days?

I’m gonna split this one into two.

  1. Is it ok for the president of the USA to decide when to lift the stay-at-home order for the USA?
  2. Absolutely, who else would you entrust it to? Somebody who got into office precisely because the electorate trusted their judgement? So, what could be better than when they actually use that judgement? Surely this is exactly why they were voted president?

    I even have some sympathy for them, because whatever decision they make, it will be wrong in many people’s eyes. So they can’t win.

  3. Did Trump get this particular call wrong?

Maybe. Maybe not. But, if somebody partakes in a democracy, there’s the rub. They have to take the rough with the smooth. If people think that the system that elected him was unfair, then it is down to them to support somebody who’ll make that system fairer. Or to agitate against it themselves.

I’m sorry, I realise that most of my American friends will disagree with me there, but that is my view. If you elect an idiot, you can hardly be surprised when they make idiotic decisions.

As for me, after lockdown is lifted, I will wait about 6 weeks before I make any decision. That time lag should be enough to allow any new spike to be visible in the numbers. That decision will be either to go out again, or to defer for a while longer, when I will address the question again.

Okay, some things, like grocery shopping, are unavoidable, but most things, like using public transport or visiting coffee shops, should fit into that rule.

We need to think for ourselves here, this is our own life and death, not something we should really delegate to somebody else.


    • I’d have thought that the individual state governors were better placed to decide on lockdown/release.
      So, either your founding fathers hot that decision right, when they decided where the decision gets made;
      or, Trump got the decision right when he decided to delegate it.
      ‘Course, any decision a governor makes will have limited effect unless that governor can also control state borders.
      Or, T

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Trump did not win the popular vote. He had almost 3 million fewer votes than his opponent, but he became president because of an antiquated mechanism written into the U.S. Constitution by the Founding Fathers 230 years ago called the Electoral College. And since becoming president, he has demonstrated ineptness, incompetence, and poor judgement over and over. And given that America has 5% of the world population, but 30% of the coronavirus cases and way more deaths than any other country, he has totally fucked up this country’s fight to contain the virus.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m staying at home as much a possible. That is also how the rules are communicated here (I know, not the US). Your health is in your hands and you need to make the best decision you can with the information you get at the time. When they say it’s ok to eat outside, it doesn’t mean that you must!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I think it will be some time before people go out “voluntarily”. I see that it is far more promounced, the older one is….just because the stakes are so much higher. What is happening in the US seems totally stupid but each time, I find myself thinking “but they elected this guy”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • On the other hand, he is not the first being elected but doing things that aren’t quite ok. As you said, we can stay at home as much as possible and keep the precautions.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think the challenge for me is “how long?” I have no doubt that politicians will want to get things moving again (Trump is just one example) and there will come a point when they ignore the statistics. We have already had people talking about “acceptable casualties”, and I just watched an article about how much the High Street is suffering. All this against a backdrop of >5,000 new cases per day, a number which has not decreased this last week. Deaths, fortunately, are decreasing, but they are still at around 500/day. I am in no doubt that we will each need to make a stop/go decision at some point.
          Just looking at the numbers, I think that if there is a recurrence, 6 weeks should be long enough to see something in the statistics. I’m encouraged, at least, that the deaths are decreasing, because we might be finding more successful techniques to treat people.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree with you. We are going to enter more lose restrictions where it is more difficult to keep social distancing and more people will be mingling. One family can invite 4 people over in the garden/terrace. Sick people will be traced.
            People are working again. Those are the critical times to see if the peak is really over or will it rise again?
            For us the measurements were in place to secure enough beds for ill people and for getting over the peak of the disease.
            Shops are opening on Monday but with all restrictions, solo shopping, masks and distancing.
            I understand that the economy must be opened but it’s also how you go about it.
            I also agree with the 6 weeks or what time is needed to look at the statistics. I think that needs to be carefully monitored and I’m not sure if politicians are willing to really understand what the statistics are saying. Here, with the 4 people, it’s the maximum but it’s also a huge risk. I don’t really get it, they say it is to make it a bit easier on the people, that they are ‘giving’ in but I’m not complaining at all!

            Liked by 1 person

            • How will people be traced? An app? They wrote their own here and are just trialling it. There are issues already with how much data it requires people to share. I am not clear why we could not just have used the Korean app. Sure, it would have needed to be translated, but that would take hours, not weeks. I’m not sure how much data the Korean app required, either.
              I am sensitive to the argument of sharing data, too. Some London hospitals trialled an app a few weeks ago, I tried to register but stopped because I thought it was unreasonable for it to ask for my height.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Your height?!? That is irrelevant, maybe a trick question to see if you’re not a robot.
                For the tracing it’s about the 4 people, that works mutually. So our 4 people needs to be others 4 people. Then they are going to trust you on your word and call (there a callcenters in place) the people that came in contact with the sick person and they are required to let themselves getting tested. I guess all the data will be also in your medical file at your GP. That is how I understood how it will work. They do appeal on our individual responsibility.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I am going to be cautious for a long time too. Not for my own sake, but I realize that wherever I go I could potentially pick up the virus and then carry it to vulnerable patients. I have tried to keep myself in a bubble simply to protect the vulnerable people I am trying to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m fortunate in that I only have contact with a few people, but frankly, all of it fits into that “unnecessary” category, something which has been highlighted just because during lockdown, I have not only continued my charity work, but doubled the number of clients I work with. I mean, it’ll be nice to see my colleagues again, but that seems quite low-priority at the moment.
      One thing, though, I used to go into the middle of Salisbury to do the calls, and I really miss not being able to pop into M&S after I’ve finished, just to pick up a little treat! Colin the Caterpillar might well be the reason I finally go out 😆

      Liked by 1 person

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