When the first warnings about Covid-19 were being circulated back in February — remember then? — the worst-case scenarios being forecast were that we would have to invoke the stay-at-home restrictions until the end of March. Then as time went on it became April 15. Then April 30. Then May 15. Meanwhile, hope was still held out that we might have a normal summer; school would be back, graduations would happen, theatre festivals would go on, and the curves would have been both flattened and maintained at a safe level.
That was then.
This virus is rampaging across the country and an arbitrary date on the calendar isn’t going to stop it. The stay-in-place orders are working, and the majority of Americans both understand and heed the science that says the longer we keep the guidelines in place, the sooner we will be safer.
So the mind is boggled when people who can only be described as either politically craven or just plain stupid go on TV and say that it’s better for the country if we re-open the country as soon as possible.
I get it that it’s in the political interest for certain members of the Republican party to re-open the country as soon as possible, to get back to what passes for normal — at least to them — and pin the blame on someone else. (The attorney general of Missouri is suing China for all of their medical expenses related to Covid-19, not unlike those people who sue God for sending a tornado and with the same predictable results.)
We’re in this for the long haul, and I’m willing to predict that while I’ve already received assurances that the two theatre festivals I was slated to attend in May and June will be on again a year from now, I’m perfectly willing to accept the possibility that it will be a stay-at-home Christmas, that President Biden’s inauguration will be the largest Zoom meeting in history, and this time next year we’ll still be told that we’re all in this together.