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Preparing for S-Day: Starting the Economy with Covid-19

04/10/2020
S Day

The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Code-named Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history.  The U.S. military used “D-Day” to designate the launch date of a mission.  The purpose was to keep the actual date out of the hands of spies and serve as a placeholder until an actual date was selected.

Most epidemiologists believe the covid-19 virus is not going away soon.  In fact, some believe this virus will be with us long-term, like influenza.  We must go back to work at some point in the near future.  We need to pick our date to re-invade the public.  This invasion will involve risk.  We will suffer casualties.  We cannot be held hostage by this invisible enemy long-term.  Benjamin Franklin said: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

I am in full support of our current effort to pause for 30 days to slow the spread of the virus.  I believe this will bend the curve.  I believe we are saving lives.  However, as with D-Day, we need to take a calculated risk to save the economy. We cannot stay in quarantine until it is completely safe to go back to work.

I am reminded of animals is the zoo.  Some are much safer than in the wild.  Others are sacrificing the very nature of what they are in the name of safety.  Is the tiger better off in a cage?  We are all living in the cage of safety to protect each other during this pandemic.  What are we actually sacrificing for that safety and is it worth it?  I am not sure.  If this virus is going to be with us long-term, we need to develop herd immunity. 

Herd immunity occurs when many people in the community become immune to an infectious disease that it stops the disease from spreading.  It can happen in two ways:  Many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity).  Many people are vaccinated against the disease to achieve immunity.

We are walking a fine line as a country when it comes to covid-19.  We must make a decision between exposing part of the herd and sacrificing our freedom to earn a living.  If we listen to some doctors and health experts, we will be locked down for many months.  If we listen to economists, we need to reopen the economy sooner.  What is the right answer?  Or, can we do both?

During World War II, we made a decision to sacrifice the lives of our most precious resource; our children, to remain free.  Teenagers, at the beginning of their lives, charged the beaches at Normandy.  Parents had children return home in coffins draped with flags.  Now, we must decide to risk our elderly and vulnerable to remain free.  This is complex ethically and economically.  I don’t have the answer.  Today, I saw pictures of mass graves in New York for the indigent lost to this virus.

The day is coming soon when we must make a difficult decision.  We will need to come out and fight for our survival.  We will need to make sacrifices to remain free to resume life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We are in a cage for thirty days in order to slow the spread.  If we are doing this to keep urban hospitals from being overwhelmed, I am all in.  I am hunkered down with my family.  My oldest son is locked down in Houston.  However, we are going to get back to work.  We are going to come out of our cages.  We are going to be at risk.  We will have our S-Day.  This might be individually.  It might be collectively.

At some point, we need to ask if our safety is worth the sacrifice.  Listen to the immortal words of Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart (1995).  Gibson plays the character, William Wallace. 

[Wallace: Sons of Scotland, I am William Wallace.

Young soldier: William Wallace is 7 feet tall.

Wallace: Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds, and if he were here he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse. I AM William Wallace. And I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What would you do without freedom? Will you fight?

Veteran soldier: Fight? Against that?  No, we will run; and we will live.

Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you'll live -- at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!!!]

I am preparing for S-Day.

S-Day
A tough topic to discuss but you are right. At some point in the near future we will have to shake off our frazzled nerves, take a deep breath and step back out into the world. I'm concerned that with everyone taking so many precautions to avoid contact with the COVID-19 virus, we are not building an immunity against the countless other illness that we will be exposed to once we tackle S-Day. There could likely be a fine line between doing enough to be safe and doing too much only to pay for it later. Stay well Mr. Grubbs.
(April 14, 2020 ~ 9:47 AM)
By Anonymous