Patience critical to ending lockdown


There’s only one certainty amid the chaos of our socially distant lives in this coronavirus moment.

We can’t do this again anytime soon, if at all possible. We have to get this right.

We have to do everything within our collective power to stop the spread of a highly contagious virus and emerge in a new world only when we’re confident it’s safe.

Resuming our lives too quickly could not only kill far too many people, it also could extend our economic crisis in ways we don’t want to imagine.

Everyone from President Trump to governors, health professionals, workers and students understandably want to resume normal life as quickly as possible. We all want events, sports and shows to resume, especially with summer looming.

We understand most of us have never been asked — or ordered by our governor — to make a vital sacrifice of our freedom for our fellow man. We’ve never deliberately brought our economy to a virtual standstill, instantly making millions of Americans unemployed.

It’s new and scary, especially knowing the worst is yet to come. A “tsunami” of serious COVID-19 cases could arrive in Akron-area hospitals as early as this week, local administrators believe.

This is as real as it gets.

Yet, many workers have been forced to report their employers for questionably labeling their work as essential while also failing to follow Ohio’s social distancing requirements. Even if staying open can be defended, forcing people to risk infection without proper safeguards is immoral and, for now, illegal.

One COVID-19 patient can create thousands of cases as they infect others who infect more and more.

The fastest path to normalcy with the fewest deaths possible requires everyone to heed the stay home and social distance advice of the experts who have prepared for pandemics.

Even then, there’s still no way to know how long life needs to be interrupted.

“You’ve got to be realistic, and you’ve got to understand that you don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN Wednesday night.

Fauci’s expert statement meshes well with Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton’s daily reminders that Ohio needs to buy time by blunting its rising number of cases as much as possible.

Doing nothing would create a sharp, quicker spike in sickness that would kill many, overwhelm our health system and cause far more havoc in our lives. A longer, shallower spike saves lives if we’re patient enough to let this awful virus run its course.

So, yes, two parents trying to work from home with kids trying to attend online school leaves plenty to be desired. Birthday parties via video conferencing aren’t as much fun. Senior years in college and high school may be ruined. Fun remains in short supply.

All of these challenges also are a far cry from what our fellow Americans achieved during World War II or other national struggles. They found a way to overcome.

It’s our duty to stay home, protect ourselves and others and bide our time.

This too shall pass, if we let it.

— Akron Beacon Journal, March 28; Online: https://bit.ly/39U2WX6