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Thorner/Ingold: If We Open, Will They Come?




By Nancy Thorner & Ed Ingold –

A 1989 movie, Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner, told of a farmer who heard a voice telling him to build a baseball diamond in a field. “If you build it, he will come,” referring to Shoeless Joe Jackson, banned from baseball following the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal.

We’re all hearing voices clamoring for the country to open for business following nearly two months in pandemic shutdown. We are assured that if we do this, the economy will rebound like a home-run baseball. It is one thing to allow businesses and stores to resume operations, but recovery depends on consumers. The question is, “If we open, will they come?”

Since the end of February, there has been an unrelenting barrage of bad news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. “There aren’t enough hospital beds or equipment to handle the number of patients expected from the disease.” “If exposed, you must isolate yourself for 14 days.” “The death toll keeps rising [it can’t go down].”

Behind the scenes, there was a morass of inter-agency rivalries between the CDC, FDA and NIH, to name a few. Every agency had the right to say “No” to any innovation and seemed to take that as a mandate rather than a responsibility. This culminated in orders to stay at home, stay inside, and leave only for essential business.   Also advised was the wearing of face masks

Essential or arbitrary?

What constitutes “essential” is often capricious and arbitrary.  Churches are not permitted to hold services, but abortion clinics are open for business.  Beauty salons and barber shops are shuttered, yet marijuana shops are busy serving customers.  Vape shops are closed, but liquor shops are open.  No sitting on the beach is allowed in Ocean City, N.J., but walking is fine.  If you go to a party you will go to jail, but if you are in jail you will be let out because of coronavirus.

In a turn of events of Orwellian nature, citizens have been urged to report alleged violators to the authorities.  Police are likewise arresting citizens for violating coronavirus stay-at home mandates and for not following social distancing orders.

Governor Pritzker announced on Monday, May 11, 2020 that power boats will be allowed but with no more than two people on board. Asked if four members of the same household would be permitted. He answered, “No, you would need two boats. Apparently you can’t walk together either in a group.

More discouraging news

With a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, more discouraging news was added to the grim statistics which further undermines the confidence of anyone seeking to re-enter normal society.

We learn that silent, asymptomatic infections outnumber those with acute symptoms nearly 10 to 1, furthermore:

  • that everybody is a suspect until proven otherwise,
  • that having the disease does not necessarily impart immunity. You can catch it again and pass it on to other,
  • that the virus can persist for years (a wild guess) after you have recovered,
  • that if and when a vaccine is produced, it won’t be the panacea as promised,
  • that the news will reveal the vaccine is only 50% effective, because once 50% of the population is immune, the disease goes into idle mode, if not full remission.

What many governors, health experts, and the mainstream media fail to realize is that proposed paths to recovery are in many respects no recovery at all, and that the “cure” is often worse than the shutdown (or the disease) itself. 

Imagine if the mainstream media gave this much coverage to a pandemic health danger in California where thousands of homeless drug addicts and the mentally ill are living in squalor on city streets, on rivers, and in parks throughout California.  Hepatitis, typhus, typhoid fever, and threats of Bubonic Plague are real and do exist among the vast homeless population.

Dr. Fauci as the "grim reaper"

In that Dr. Fauci warned of 'needless' deaths if this nation opens up too early during his appearance in front of a Senate panel on Tuesday, May 12. 2020, does not bode well at a time when states are starting to reopen for business.  Fauci’s warning was what the Left was waiting to hear.

Wisely refuted by President Trump was Fauci's warning not to open schools in September. Trump noted coronavirus’ very minimal impact on children before stating that our nation’s schools and general economy must reopen in a safe, yet quick manner.

Fauci is wearing blinders in regard to COVID-19. Apparently delayed cancer treatments and organ transplants do not cause “needless suffering” in his mind. That’s another department’s problem. Let’s also not forget needless suffering due to financial hardships and job loss, not to mention increased incidents of domestic violence and suicides. How many heart attacks are suffered in private for fear of going to the ICU (or being denied access)?

When did risk go out of fashion?

As John Kass of the Chicago Tribune wrote in his commentary of May 8, 2020:  Americans are too afraid of risk.What we need in this pandemic is balance.  Excerpts from the end of of Kass' commentary:

"For decades now, we’ve taught ourselves to fear so many things, even risk itself. Risk was once the very idea of America. Your parents or grandparents may have risked everything to get here, just so they could risk even more.
How many of us have already been pushed toward death by binge-eating while watching a steady shrieking stream of coronavirus fear porn on the TV news, and avoiding a visit to the doctor for fear of contracting the disease?
What I’m asking is that we at least think about something we’ve lost, besides jobs and our economic futures and the Bill of Rights: Balance.
All I see is the imposition of extremes. Those of us who want to get the country back to work are portrayed as selfish fools who Just Want People to Die.
And those who never want the lockdown to end are dismissed as fearful Coronavirus Karens, peering through their windows, calling the police if they see someone walking on the street without a mask."  
Will the American people seek balance and venture outside when their state reopens for business, or will they cower in fear to leave what they have been told are the safe confines of their homes.

Hopefully the American people will reject fear and opt for balance for the sake of saving this nation (and themselves) from hardship, emotional stress, financial destitute and ruin.


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  1. Nice shout out to “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, who was a victim of judicial activism by the baseball commissioner (himself a judge who had been reversed in the Standard Oil case after trying to impose a record fine).
    Shoeless Joe was a conservative scapegoat for the owners and commissioner (Landis). Shoeless Joe was vindicated in court but ruined by an administrative decisionmaking which denied him due process. The commissioner did not even investigate the facts, let alone call witnesses.
    Terrific article, Nancy and Ed!