opening up the economy

Day 38 . The debate over when and how to end stay at home orders and open up the economy rages on. Public health officials are cautioning strongly against a precipitous relaxation of restrictions and reopening of the economy, lest it give the public a false sense that the virus has been defeated when in fact it still resides among us just waiting to continue its deathly march. Others argue that the social distancing cure is worse than the virus itself because it is killing the economy.

In the midst of this ongoing debate I received an Order from the Federal District Court in Cincinnati, Ohio which should give us all a good inkling into of what the future has in store for the us in the weeks and months ahead.

The background to this Order is the following: Since early March the federal court in Cincinnati has been generally closed to the public and has essentially been handling only urgent matters. This is similar to what many other court systems have been trying to do. Yesterday, the court issued an Order closing the court down entirely. Why? Because a court employee who had access to the entire building has now been tested positive for the Corona virus. As a result the entire courthouse had to be shut down immediately.

This should serve as a “preview of coming attractions”. Even after this phase of the pandemic is declared “over” the virus will still be among us. Relaxing restrictions and opening of businesses will naturally lead to less social distancing. Less social distancing will lead to higher rates of infection. Higher rates of infection will close business and other establishments down. And the vicious cycle will repeat itself.

Just like the Federal Courthouse in Columbus.

Patience is a key weapon in this battle. It should not be squandered.

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