PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – APRIL 10
By Leo Haggerty

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE STUPID

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

I sit back and watch the “talking heads” on television report that the only way to completely eradicate the COVID-19 virus is a full-fledged lengthy quarantine.  So, why is that hypothesis being accepted as fact?

The media who subscribe to this theory point to Wuhan.  The Chinese city, where the outbreak orginated, is now “allegedly” free of the Coronavirus after 78 days of completely sheltering in place.  Personally, I have two major problems with using this as a foolproof method for success against the pandemic.

My first “doubting Thomas” moment is trusting China to give factual information.  All news coming out of mainland China is controlled by the Communist government.  That makes me wonder immediately how much is truth and how much is fabrication.

My second reason for questioning whether this would be a successful outcome is the American people themselves.  Why do I say that?  Welcome to a democracy and let me explain further.

In Wuhan, people we told by the government that they WILL stay inside.  The featured photo of a completely empty stadium with only two people within miles solidified that point.  The consequence for not following that directive in a communist country would most probably be immediate arrest.  That would lead to being taken to a “holding area” and the chances of you being seen again by your family members were slim and none.

That’s how the Chinese, and I want to overemphasize the next word,  “allegedly” eradicated the COVID-19 in a city of just over 11 million people.  Hard to believe they sequestered that many people for that long but that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

In the United States, the only way this could happen is if President Trump declares martial law.  Here’s a quick synopsis of what would entail.

The military would take over all operations.  There would be a dusk till dawn curfew and you would be arrested if you left your house for any reason.  Finally, government personnel accompanied by armed guards who go house-to-house.  Those with a higher than normal temperature or test positive for the Coronavirus, would be removed to a medical facility.

This would be the ultimate last resort.  Granted, it would work but the consequences would be catastrophic.

The fact that, right now, our government can only “suggest” and “recommend” steps to be taken by the populous to remain safe.  Wear a mask.  Wear gloves.  Limit outside excursions.  The people can follow these guidelines or decide not to listen to the advice of the experts.

In a democracy, and this may pain people to hear it, you have the right to be stupid.  You can go out in public without a mask.  You can choose to now wear gloves.  You can decide to go out every day and expose you and other to COVID-19.

As I’ve said in the past, you can’t fix stupid.  Boy, I hope I’m wrong here.

People need to follow the directives given by the government.  If they don’t, they won’t be asked.  They’ll be told and that will be a whole different ball game.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s wake up and smell the roses while we can.  We may not get a second chance.