Confusion, pressure increases in Week 7 as virus numbers rise and protest grow

Businesses on Broadway . (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Is the nation reopening too soon or too late?


Many of us keeping to the ban on interaction, social distancing, wearing facemasks and washing our hands incessantly face a disconnect when we see so many others doing just the opposite.

Everett residences have been acting in good faith throughout this ordeal. All our lives have been affected. We are stuck inside. We are smart to do so given the risks – which are real.

We watch the television news. We see crowded beaches along both coasts of the nation with tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands partying on the beaches like it is just another day.

We see them shoulder to shoulder in their bathing suits ignoring the harsh reality that by refusing to social distance and to stay hunkered down, they are causing the numbers of infections and deaths inevitably to rise much higher.

Watching protests in Michigan and even here at our own State House, by lunatics claiming they want their freedom and don’t care about the virus, is a testament to the ancient belief that most of society is ignorant and acts that way while a much smaller minority have developed intelligence and common sense that warns us against such foolish behavior.

Numbers are rising here in Everett and all around us in two major categories – deaths and infections.

Last week, the death count for the nation was in the 50,000 regions.

Tuesday, it was almost 70,000 and rising.

By the end of June, deaths will come in at around 3,000 a day across the nation.

Experts claim the final tally, when and if this viral contagion comes to an end, the total deaths could be 150,000 to 200,000, that’s more than double than what was predicted when we went under lockdown almost seven weeks ago.

More shocking to learn is that by relaxing social distancing policies and efforts, the number crunchers have added additional deaths to the coming estimated toll of those who are ignoring social distancing. Many of those protesting that their rights have ben abridged by their freedom being taken away are going to become infected, hospitalized, put on ventilators and subsequently die miserable deaths from the virus.

The more people interact in large groups, the greater the number of infections and deaths will be.

“I wonder how free many of these protestors are go- ing to feel when they’re put on ventilators? You can’t be protesting about missing your freedom when you’re in the intensive care ward, on a ventilator while coming closer to their maker with every machine driven breath,” a close friend said to me Tuesday evening.

A sign in a home on Garland St. salutes healthcare workers and mailmen. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

I think he’s right about this.

The let-up nationally in restrictions intended to snuff out the virus and to stop it from spreading, is going to lead to more deaths, more infections, more hospitalizations, more unemployment, more chaos and the continued collapse of our national economy.

It seems certain this will be the outcome when two weeks have passed and the newly infected are taken away from us in droves in different places around the nation.

We will be forced to start all over.

This is a real likelihood.

The re-imposition of Draconian in-house isolation and business closures will cause another round of catastrophe.

The desire to get the nation going again from freedom seekers unable to control themselves to save what remains of the economy or to bring it back intersecting with the rising power of the virus is bad business all around.

Then again, maybe none of the above is going to happen. Maybe freeing up the social distancing rules, open- ing up tattoo parlors, gyms, barber shops and retail stores will aid in the virus disappearing – that – and the heat of summer.

And the economy will come back.

Don’t bet on it.

The science may be off. But the numbers don’t lie.

As Bob Dylan put it in one of his famous early ballads: “a cold rain is going to fall.”

That cold rain has already begun falling.

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