Sunday, April 5, 2020

Taboo Question

Can I ask a question that seems to be taboo? What is the plan for getting us back to work?  Everyday I am bombarded with social media posts praising teachers and medical workers for their efforts. As it should be. What I do not see is praise for us small business owners and the common worker for our sacrifice.

But before I go on let me make it perfectly clear that I understand that behind EVERY death because of the coronavirus there is a person, A mother, father, child, uncle or aunt. That there are people morning a death. My wife and I pray everyday for all those effected. We do not take those numbers lightly.

I also know that behind all the unemployment numbers there is a mother, father, child, uncle or aunt that is scared and worried. These are also serious situations that we cannot over look. Yet if you dare mention it you are accused of not caring about life. But the truth is at some point they had to push the life boats away from the Titanic in order to save those in them. If they let everyone in, all the life boats would sink and nobody would survive. I cannot imagine being in a life boat and looking at the faces of those who stood on the ship watching life boats push off.

Americans are great people especially during times of tragedy. We rise up and give of our time and money. Time after time we help those in need. I think that this time is no different. Americans are mostly following the shelter in place rules and are paying a price. Small business's have closed and are doing their best to retain employees. Many business have shifted from normal operations in order to keep their doors open. Restaurants who never offered carry out and delivery now do so. Some are using FaceTime to allow customers to shop from home. Automotive shops are picking up cars and bringing them back then allowing you to pay on the phone. Yes, many business owners have become creative and changed the way they do business almost overnight. These are also the business owners who are trying to keep their employees on payroll. Often dipping into their personal funds or taking on debt just to help take care of their business "family".

We don't mind the sacrifice. But the truth is we don't know what we are being asked to sacrifice. Are we being asked to give up a few weeks or maybe even a couple of  months of sales in order to save lives? I think most are okay with that. Or are we being asked to give everything we ever worked for? Are we being asked to give up our business's? Our livelihood? Are we to give up our homes and belongings? What is the plan and how much are we to give? Are we even being given a choice?

Yes the virus is real. Yes the number of deaths are real. But so are the unemployment numbers. We need to understand behind those numbers there is more than a financial toll that will need to be counted. The emotional toll will create a laundry list of unintended consequences. We have already had the suicide rate increase 33% in the United States since 1999. The highest since World War Two. Here locally domestic assault calls are on the rise. We can't let the life boats go down. At some point we have to push them away.

So again I go back to my question. We really need to know... What is the plan for getting us back to work? We need to have some hope.