Finding Middle Ground in a Pandemic

It seems you have to have such definite ideas in a single direction on every topic these days.

That sucks. We can find a middle ground.

That’s where corona sits for me right now. You’ve got 2 camps - people who want everyone to quarantine, and people who want the economy to open.

Quarantine folks are bashed because they hate the economy and want to kill more people in the long run by drug addiction and suicides from lack of basic income. They also want the government to bail them and everyone else out.

Open the economy folks want to infect and kill all the older adults. All they care about is money. And the quarantine is somehow a worldwide conspiracy of government control - on the bright side, at least all these governments finally agreed on something.

Usually, the quarantine group has a lifestyle that already supports quarantine - working from home already or a job that allows it perhaps.

Usually, the open economy folks have some incentive to get out of their house and back to work. Probably some kind of service job or career that requires foot traffic.

I’ll go ahead and say that my business can operate remotely, and we have since before lockdowns began. We aren’t struggling to fill our available workload. We aren’t skipping a beat. Plus, all my staff is relatively young, so we’re also at low risk.

But we do have family members of staff who are at higher risk.

I think we can find a middle ground here. Capitalism works because it puts power in the hands of the people. The government shouldn’t overreach those bounds. Business owners should also be mindful of the needs of their employees and customers. If there is a perceived risk, customers will avoid it, and the business will hurt on its own accord. Maybe a group of people understand the risk differently and can spend money with companies enough to get them through this time. But if they can’t open their doors at all, then we aren’t even giving them a chance.

I’ll also end with the fact that our constitutional rights have no asterisks for an “unless in the case of a pandemic,” and a healthy questioning of leadership’s motives is a good thing. We don’t want to see a pattern of stripped freedoms in the face of perceived risk. Who wants a world filled with TSA agents (whose faux security is ineffective - seriously, why can I pay to have expedited screening and then pay again to get ahead of that line? Effective security is not elitist)? At least right now I opt into that experience by choosing to fly.

Here’s a middle ground, too - I’m not condoning a governmental overthrow or blatant disregard for good and wise orders. But be thankful for the people around you who are advocating in both directions so we can meet on the reasonable middle ground. We do need to be somewhere between questioning our government and isolation from disease. We need to examine both sides and make sure the motives are pure.

Braden Keith