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Did we overreact?

COVID-19 and coronavirus. Two months ago, few, if any, us had heard those two words. The virus came upon us quickly. I would say we, as a nation, reacted pretty fast. We were scared not to. The first real models we saw predicted 2.2 million Americans would die. Draconian measures were taken and they were called for or, at least, it seemed at the time they were called for. The models were, thankfully, wrong. Revisions were made and by late March the death toll prediction had dropped to 100,000-240,000 which is still a scary number. At this writing, the US. death toll is officially reported at 65,735. We have all learned new terminology: Flatten the curve. Social distancing. We learned about proper hand washing. We were told to wear masks then told to not wear masks. Now we are back on with the masks. Now, we are learning new facts. Hindsight is always 20/20 but consider this. Recent studies at Stanford University and the University of Southern California found coronavirus is 50-85% less deadly than thought and transmission rates are not two – five percent as predicted but less than one tenth of one percent. In an unprecedented move, we, as as a nation, shut down every school. On that topic, William J. Bennett, a former U.S. Secretary of Education now heading up federal drug control policy wrote the following on April 23: ’We drastically transfigured over 55 million children’s educational and social lives to protect them from a virus that affects them less than the annual flu’¦. At this writing, fewer than 10 children nationwide have died nationally from COVID-19, although 80 have died from the flu. The argument that they could spread the new coronavirus to adults is true but that is true of the flu as well. This has put an additional burden on families, children, and, for our poorest, has ripped millions of them from nutritious meals and trusted adults and institutions.’ During the COVID-19 siege, it has been virtually impossible to schedule an in-person doctor’s visit or elective surgery. How many fatal diagnoses have been missed during that period? How many cancers left undetected? On top of all this, we have the economic impact of shutting down American business. Many small businesses simply won’t reopen at all. Each such failure will equal dreams for success shattered and personal economic momentum lost. Gov. Brian Kemp moved last week to reopen businesses in Georgia. He caught a lot of heat but I am among those who feel he did the right thing. We did our best. We all chipped in. Americans have endured. We have given it our best shot. We followed the edicts of those who were supposed to know what they were doing and what we should be doing. We’re tired of it. Perhaps their information and advice were accurate but I just can’t shake the feeling we overreacted. How do you feel?

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