Our View: Let's talk about our situation
Our View

Our View: Let's talk about our situation

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We’d like to share some random thoughts about the coronavirus. We’ll go first:

Walking into a supermarket and seeing bare shelves is frightening, and more than a little sad. One would think, us being neighbors and all, we could show some consideration for those who, for whatever reason, must shop later.

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Empty store shells are nothing new for anyone who has lived along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean heading up the Eastern Seaboard, which are the designated target areas of hurricanes, year in and year out.

When a big storm blows through, you’d better have shopped early, or you face days, if not weeks of bare shelves.

The difference between a big storm and the coronavirus is that with a hurricane, you know it’s coming for days, so you can hop in your car and escape to higher ground. With the coronavirus’ spread, there is really no safe place to drive. The safest place is in your own home, and that may have to do for many months.

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A complexity scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote last week about his extensive research on global pandemics over the past 15 years, and his best advice is for our government leaders to lock down the entire nation for a minimum of five weeks.

According to him, shutting down social/dining gathering spots are OK but far short of what is needed to keep the virus from metastasizing.

Judging from scenes at Florida beaches during spring break, social distancing seems not a viable option for frisky young Americans.

The MIT guy said a national lockdown wouldn’t necessarily eradicate the virus, but would cripple its crawl.

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We tend to lean, hard, on the hoarders who are making shopping a nightmare for the rest of us, but really, couldn’t the big supermarket chains have mandated some limitations on the number of items each shopper could take?

Most are doing that now, but closing the barn door is useless when the horses have fled the scene.

On the other hand, some say the hoarding is simply a way of stocking up for the long haul, which could keep families off the streets and out of stores, thus limiting community spread.

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Our temptation is to stop watching all the news about the virus, because so much of it is repetitive and misleading.

Prime examples are the federal government’s recent press conferences at which our leaders have spread conspiracy theories and made potentially unscientific, dangerous suggestions.

These are the same leaders who apparently were fully briefed on the potential for a global pandemic in December and January, but chose either to ignore the experts’ opinions or take a nap during the presentations.

When critics talk about a leadership vacuum in America, it seems clear now they’re referring to those in charge of the federal government.

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Why aren’t the major supermarket and big-box retail stores restocking in a timely manner? From the first sign of trouble, executives should have been devising and laying the groundwork for resupplying the things Americans need most.

Actually, where is all the toilet paper? That sounds like a Saturday Night Live cold opening, but as so many of us now realize, it’s a real, pressing issue. The trucks should have been rolling when the first wave of shoppers raced for the paper goods.

***

Is martial law really necessary, getting the military involved?

No, what’s really necessary is for our elected representatives to wake up, do their jobs.

OK, now it’s your turn to share your thoughts.

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