Why I Support Restarting the Economy
If I had to boil it down to a single sentence, it would be because mental health is just as important as physical health.
I 100% do care about and value all human life, which is the basis for this in the first place. If you read my last book or really know me, you would understand that and know that to be true.
I have no political intent with this post. I do not consider myself a Republican nor a Democrat.
Despite some people’s best efforts to characterize things this way, those of us who want the country to reopen our economy absolutely value life. It’s not a money vs. life decision. That’s a false representation. I’m not a money-grubbing asshole.
In fact, there continues to be evidence showing that keeping everything on lockdown is more dangerous than letting the virus run its course. I’m not talking about a complete free for all. There has to be some middle ground.
Definition of Economy
Let’s look at the definitions of the word economy, according to Miriam-Webster.
1: the structure or conditions of economic life in a country, area, or period
also : an economic system
2 a: thrifty and efficient use of material resources : frugality in expenditures
also : an instance or a means of economizing : SAVING
b: efficient and concise use of nonmaterial resources (such as effort, language, or motion)
3 a: the arrangement or mode of operation of something : ORGANIZATION
b: a system especially of interaction and exchange an economy of information
4 archaic : the management of household or private affairs and especially expenses
When you look at definitions 3a and 3b above, this is what I mean by the economy. It is more than just buying and selling goods and services. It is the entire operation of our country and how we interact and exchange with each other.
I don’t know about you, but we’ve been pretty much on lock down for over a month now. It has been extremely difficult in many ways, and we have it way easier than most people.
Now, I realize that I’m not an “expert” on any of these topics, and I’m certainly not a doctor, but there are experts and doctors who support getting things open and moving again as well. Statistically, it is way less severe than some experts have predicted, which is wonderful, and that is not meant in any way to discount the thousands of lives lost at all.
What I am doing is making a case for the lives that are being lost and ruined due to the nation being shut down. 17 million people have already filed for unemployment, and it is steadily increasing. This isn’t a failure of people to be ale to plan for 30 days without income, it is likely a 12-month recovery period when all things are factored in. Yes, there is a bit of stimulus money that our country went further in debt to ourselves and private banks for, but it’s not enough. Yes, there is some assistance available for some businesses, some mortgage help and other forms of aid, but it is not enough. I covered some of this in my last podcast.
It’s not “just money.” There are very serious ramifications to financial disasters.
What about those in isolation who were in recovery from an addiction who have turned back to drugs – how many overdoses will happen as a result of not being able to see friends and family or go to work? How many suicides will occur due to the crushing weight of financial ruin? How many lives will be lost due to their absence of healthcare benefits and inability to access treatments now? There is also the “shadow epidemic” of increased domestic violence, where mostly women and children are the victims. Not only are they trapped at home with their abusers, but the situations are even more volatile given that there is greater pressure and no outlets.
Children should be allowed to go to school. They need interaction with other kids and extended family members.
They need it just as much as the parents need to be allowed to work. There are a few examples where nations weren’t shut down, yet the infection rates and fatalities are no higher than their neighboring countries. Now there are several European nations ready to reopen, even if starting on a limited basis.
Most people should be allowed to practice less severe forms of social distancing. Most people should be able to be more conscious about hand washing and sanitizing. We could provide more support to healthcare workers, nursing homes and other vulnerable populations who need the extra help.
Isolation is devastating There is a reason that prisons use isolation as a form of punishment. I know, this isn’t the same, but the mechanics of it are. Some people are very isolated, while others are less so.
People need connection. We need purpose. We need productivity and rewards and breaks and love. We need each other now more than ever. Phone calls and social media aren’t enough. Virtual meetings only go so far with friends and family. We need hugs, and comfort and support and encouragement in the form of physical presence as well.