My parents lived through World War II. It was a time of extraordinary trial for the United States of America and for the entire world. And the extraordinary challenges demanded extraordinary action. Citizens of the U.S. found themselves subject to extraordinary measures and restrictions that were needed to address the extraordinary crisis.
I remember my Mother recalling that there were indeed some people who mewled and moaned about fuel rationing and other impositions. But she also noted that the average American bore these extraordinary impositions with the understanding that it was wartime, and that it was certainly not “business as usual.” Those who whined and complained about the necessary extraordinary measures were considered to be ignorant or selfish. People knew that the extraordinary circumstances of wartime demanded extraordinary changes in behavior.
Today we face a different sort of challenge with COVID-19. This is an extraordinary challenge that demands extraordinary reaction. We must not panic, but we must respond. Taking wise precautions is responsible and sensible. The disease is here now. Limiting opportunities for easy and large-scale transmission is a rational and reasonable response. Denying reality is not. There is no reason to panic, but there is every reason to treat this as urgently, immensely serious. Italy’s healthcare resources are already being over-extended due to the explosion of cases there. We need to work vigorously to avoid that situation here. Limiting contact is NOT a panic response. Not at all.
Large gatherings should be suspended, postponed, or cancelled. (Penalties, breech-of-contract, cancellation fees, and the like that are typically associated with such actions should not apply.) These are extraordinary times. Ordinary operations are inapplicable and insufficient.
These are not ordinary times; this is wartime. Things must change. We can make the needed changes. It will not last forever.
Flower Mound, Texas