During World War II, Winston Churchill, in frustration, when trying to convince his government that appeasement was not working against the Germans said, “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”
This is how I’ve felt this entire week.
South Florida’s half-measures will have consequences. Without pointing fingers or blaming (because no one is at fault) the government is trying to lessen the economic blow and appease certain stakeholders, that’s obvious. But this is happening at WHOSE expense?
We shut down the schools but teachers still have office hours.
We close down restaurants but allow convenience stores like 7-11 to remain open, where customers are touching the same cups, ice machines, coffee stations, and POS systems with no sanitizers.
We cancel government meetings, but government centers appear to remain open.
And mass transit? I understand that public transit affects our most needy, but buses and trams are public spaces too!
Quarantined here in my house with my children (Isabella-22, Pablo-19, and Franny-17), it feels like this massive isolation effort is futile — because as I type this email, people are touching produce, standing in line less than six-feet apart, and not following proper social distancing rules.
This past week of isolation was for naught!
Only today did Mayor Carlos Gimenez order nonessential businesses like nail and hair salons, golf courses, and offices to close, and horrifyingly, according to the latest alert from the Miami Herald, trampoline parks are still open until tonight! How is this possible? How could we close restaurants and schools but leave kiddie trampoline parks where children are crawling and sneezing and touching everything remain open?
Even dentists and many doctors’ offices were open today. It is unacceptable.
Until everything is shut down (and trust me, this half-shutdown has already been emotionally, physically and financially draining for everyone) we cannot start the 14-day clock to fight the spread of COVID19 and flatten the curve. Isolation will do nothing until nearly EVERYTHING except true essentials are shut down, and those businesses that remain open must have sanitizer everywhere and require masks for entry. There must be strict protocols in place.
If not, all of our current sacrifice is a waste.
I am no expert, but I’ve read enough to figure out that only in places where they tested extensively and used software to trace every case (like they have in Taiwan and Singapore) can society continue to operate with some form of normality.
Since we have little-to-no tests, and therefore no way to track carriers, we must practice isolation seriously.
The sooner we shut down properly, the sooner we can start the clock, and the quicker we can emerge stronger, more resilient, and united to recover from the economic and social devastation wrought.
As I write this, I can hear the beep from our family thermometer as my 17-year-old checks her temperature again and we scavenge the house for Tylenol (as we only have Ibuprofen) to bring down her fever of 101F. I recently recovered from a fever myself, and am awaiting results from a COVID19 test I did on Monday.
For those of you homeschooling your children, God bless you. For seniors running low on supplies, I hope you have access to procure them quickly. Finally, to our elected officials, please have no fear and just SHUT IT DOWN.
We will thank you for it one day.
Love and Light,