What ever happened to “flatten the curve”?

Surely most of us can remember when, more than a year ago, lockdown measures hailed from on high and we all donned our masks, sheltered in place and submitted to the politicians’ decisions to shut down our economy for the sake of not overwhelming the health care system. The message was clear: flattening the curve (decreasing the rate of spread of the virus) would help ensure that hospitals were not overwhelmed with patients; it was never intended to eradicate the virus or minimize the total number of deaths.

“Two weeks to flatten the curve” has turned into 52. We still have huge portions of our economy shut down or hamstrung by burdensome regulations. Travel is restricted. There are limited sporting events. We also seem to have forgotten the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own guidance that a COVID-19 “exposure” occurs after a patient has had “close contact” (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with someone who has coronavirus.

Instead of acknowledging that we’re all responsible citizens capable of assessing our own level of risk tolerance, we have sanctimonious ne’er-do-wells up at Fergi (and on our hiking trails) making snide comments and criticizing those who dare enjoy the great outdoors maskless. Bullies and politicians alike are happily taking advantage of this corona-crisis in order to gain power.

Perhaps instead of seeking to control others, we can focus our efforts toward taking care of ourselves and our own families, and trust that others will do the same.

Rebecca Patton


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