Updated: May 11, 2020
“Nothing about this makes any sense!” That was the conclusion of myself and my three new friends while we ate breakfast at a beach hotel on March 20th in Puerto Vallarta.
None of us were in the right place. From Colombia to Thailand our vacations had been canceled but we each persisted until we found short-lived sanctuary in Mexico from what we saw as mass hysteria. I ate my chiliquiles under a warm sun listening: What is going on? Are we were missing something? This doesn't feel right. And too few are concerned about the consequences.
Closures, quarantines, masks and blue rubber gloves, hand sanitizer and a run on toilet paper and the new ubiquitous slogan of “social distancing” - they all seemed wrong. It was too fast, it was too complete and it was terrifyingly too easy. Has anyone actually thought this through? Has everyone lost their minds?
I get it – partially. Our elders and those with medical issues need to be concerned. They need to take precautions. They need to be careful. But I am concerned about the rest of us.
I get conformity too - Living in Mill Valley and San Francisco California for over 20 years I have finally come to terms with conformity. Ask the same question to 10 liberals and you will receive 8 or more virtually identical responses – often word for word. Their answers were written for them and their questions are rarely their own. It's frustrating and boring and something I had trouble with for a long time.
But this kind of mass conformity is different. It's world wide and it was too damn easy. Seemingly overnight millions of people joined the same fear based cult complete with new rules and thoughts that everyone must follow. Those that resist or question it must be reported, publicly shamed and fined.
She goes on to explain how well intentioned policies have a history of going tragically wrong. While I have been worried about the unintended consequences of increased suicides, drug overdoses, child and spousal abuse, financial ruin to millions, and divorce, Miller points out another concern that never occurred to me: "the Third World is at risk of massive famines — famines that, according to the U.N., could kill hundreds of millions of people."
How many people are going to die because of this quarantine?
How many peoples lives will forever be destroyed because of this quarantine?
These are fair questions. These are the right questions.
I have little doubt about the ruin that will come if we continue any longer down our current quarantine path. Not only to the United States but to the rest of the world. We need to rethink what we are doing.
COVID-19 is bad. People are going to die no matter what we do. But it seems like we managed to make it worse. We need to allow people willing and wanting to work to do so and respect those that wish to quarantine.
Miller “When time passes and the hysteria recedes; …. will we admit that we were swept up by the groupthink, pointing disapprovingly at dissenters? Or will we be like the students in my professor's class, still fooling ourselves into thinking we have the courage and independence of mind to stand up to a mob that we marched side by side with not so long ago?”
Count me as never being part of this "groupthink". I want no part of this quarantine or mass-hysteria.
Full disclosure: I put myself on a partial quarantine. I spent 3 days without a mask, blue gloves or hand sanitizer with my friend who is as positive as one can be that he has COVID-19 without being tested (girlfriend and business partner tested positive and he had the symptoms etc.)
Wish me luck in my attempt to get infected.
And to COVID-19 - your ass is mine now - say goodbye.
Picture is of me in Puerto Vallarta on my alma mater's bench and of course using proper social distancing. Rare because I didn't have my Trump hat on.