45 days to flatten the economy; but how many to resurrect it?

By Chuck Muth
Let’s put things in a little perspective…
We’re now finding out that the hysteria-producing models and predictions about coronavirus have been WAY off. First we were told to expect up to 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. Then 1 million. Then 240,000. Then 100,000. Then 80,000. And now we’re down to 60,000.
Still a lot; however, consider this from the Associated Press Friday… “New hospitalizations are the lowest they have been since the coronavirus crisis hit New York. The volume of 911 calls has fallen. Ventilators remain in supply.” Potentially very good news.
Now, according to STAT News — a media publication specializing in health, medicine and science issues — “about 8,000 Americans die every day from, almost overwhelmingly, diseases and other natural causes” other than coronavirus.
President Trump declared a state of emergency on March 13. Which means, using STAT News’ figure, that means 224,000 non-coronavirus American deaths in the 28 days since the national state of emergency was declared.
On the other hand, as of Friday there have reportedly been 16,739 total coronavirus deaths in the U.S. — though there is some confusion about whether that figure is of people who have died from the coronavirus or if it includes people who have died from other causes but with the coronavirus infection.
Here in Nevada (population: 3.1 million), counties with zero reported coronavirus cases: Churchill, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Mineral, Pershing and Storey. White Pine has 1. Lyon 6. Douglas 9. Nye 10. Elko 11. Carson City and Humboldt 16.
There have been 75 coronavirus deaths in Clark County (population: 2.2 million), 10 in Washoe County, and one in Elko. ZERO reported deaths in all of the other counties combined.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports: “The government-mandated business shutdowns — that are meant to defeat the virus and have brought the U.S. to a sudden standstill — are unprecedented.”
Morgan Stanley reports a plunge of 97 percent in non-grocery business, a 95 percent drop in airline travel and an 80 percent drop in hotel revenue.
The number of Nevadans who have filed for unemployment: 300,000 and counting. Nationwide: Over 17 million.
The cure is worse than the disease. In the hysteria about flattening the curve, we’ve flattened the economy.
As my friend Jeff Ecker wrote: “I’ve always said that business could survive without government, but government can’t survive without business. Some states have it backwards!”
It’s pretty clear now that Nevada Gov. Steve “Henny Penny” Sisolak over-reacted emotionally and irrationally in issuing his non-stop, often contradictory, executive orders shutting down the state. But voters will deal with that at the ballot box when the time comes.
In the meantime, the question is: When and how do we re-open Nevada? If the health “experts” who got the modeling so wrong have their way, it’ll be sometime around Justin Bieber’s 100th birthday. We can’t wait that long.
Now’s the time to begin laying plans for a PHASED re-opening of our state and businesses, taking into account various risk factors.
For example, the risk of continuing the spread is FAR LESS in Nevada’s 15 rural counties than in Clark and Washoe. Those counties would seem to be a good place to start, if they’re so willing/when they’re so willing. We should also begin planning to re-open “non-essential” retail stores
— ESPECIALLY LIQUOR STORES! — providing they adhere to the same safety precautions that have been implemented by grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores.
Reopen the churches, providing they implement the same social distancing protocols established for Gov. Sisolak’s press conferences.
Reopen offices, providing desks and cubicles are rearranged to account for social distancing. Reopen restaurants, providing the dining areas are reconfigured to take into account social distancing. Reopen our parks for socially-distanced gatherings and non-contact sports, such as tennis and golf and…bocce ball? Reopen the drive-in movie theaters and other activities where people participate from inside their cars.
Allow certain service providers, such as hair stylists and manicurists, to make house calls while taking precautions.
And if you, yourself, think any of these activities are too risky, for whatever reason, fine. Stay home. Don’t go out. Remain
self-quarantined.
But for those of us who, when the time is right, are willing to take the calculated risk of moving on, going out and continuing with our lives, leave us alone. Stop the “social shaming.” It’s no skin off your nose.
If you don’t like my ideas for re-opening Nevada, what are yours?
When should the #SisolakShutdown end? And how? Operators are standing by.
Gov. Sisolak, now fully inebriated with power, continues to tighten the vice while shredding the Constitution. If he has his way, he’ll extend his imperial, dictatorial reign for months — with no end in sight.
Enough is enough. Let Nevada’s resurrection begin.
* * * * *
Chuck Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.org and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. He blogs at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.

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