EDITORIAL FOR May 21-23, 2020
Iím CAVE MANager Paul Lotsof. About three weeks ago the interior of my house was about 95 degrees so I decided to take a chance and climb on my roof and get the cooler working. I say ďtake a chanceĒ because to some degree I risked my life climbing on that ladder. I could have slipped and fallen to my death. I could have suffered a stroke and fallen off the roof or I could have touched the contacts on the fan motor and electrocuted myself. There were all sorts of awful things that could have happened but I took the risk because I felt that the risk was small and there were some significant benefits to getting the cooler operating. The point here is that what is possible is not as important as what is probable. Life is packed with risks. The name of the game is to compare the risk with the benefits. The old saying is ďnothing ventured, nothing gainedĒ.
Just over a week ago I entered a store where they sell reconditioned used computers. No sooner did I step inside the store when I was told to get out immediately. The only other thing I was told was that absolutely nobody was allowed in the store unless they were wearing a face mask. I left right away and made my purchase at another store down the street where customers are allowed to expose their faces. I donít happen to be a Muslim woman and see no reason why I need to honor that dress code. But hereís the important point: The management of the store where I was kicked out seemed to be thinking that it was risky to allow me into their store. They didnít know if I was infected with the corona virus so they operated under the presumption that I had a deadly infection that they might catch if I wasnít wearing a piece of cloth over my nose and mouth. I suppose that itís their store and if they want to require all their customers to stand on their heads they can do that. The only problem with all this is that Iím extremely confident that I didnít have any deadly disease and they canít catch a disease from someone who doesnít have it. So in my case their mask ruleís main effect was to do them out of a sale. Sure, there was a risk that I might be infected with Covid but the risk was tiny. And even if I had been infected the germs still might have gone right through the cloth mask and infected everyone in the store. But how likely was that? Probably one chance in several thousand. Much less than the chance that I might fall off the roof when working on my cooler.
Insisting that everyone wear a mask has had another interesting consequence. There are reports of an upsurge in armed robberies in some parts of the nation. The masks play into the hands of criminals.
It seems to me that our entire nation is scared to death that everyone is infected with the deadly virus and the only way to save our lives is to stay away from everyone. Everywhere we go we hear a continuous barrage of propaganda about so-called ďsocial distancingĒ. Everyone is presumed to be infected so we must stay away from everyone. You are infected. Iím infected. Everyone is presumed infected!
Psychologists have a term for this widespread distrust of others. Itís called ďparanoiaĒ and itís a form of sickness. I would suggest that the mass hysteria and fear is a far worse sickness than what the virus typically causes. It is not the virus but rather the fear of the virus that has resulted in the worst unemployment since the great depression of the 1930s. It is fear and the supposition that everyone is infected , that has caused our public officials to shut down our businesses, deprive us of our livelihoods and also deprive us of our most basic American rights.
Now some of this scare campaign might be justifiable if the Corona virus had a high fatality rate but it does not. The typical victim gets sick for a few days with a cough and a fever and then recovers. In fact, about 98 percent of Arizonaís corona victims live to tell the story. Most donít even need to be hospitalized but you donít hear much about them. All we hear about is the ones who died. Generally the non-survivors are people who were in poor health before they caught the Corona Virus and Covid-19 simply finished them off. The infirm and the elderly need to be given special protection to make sure that they donít get exposed to Corona.
If you think that you might have caught the corona bug you need to get tested to make sure. And if you have it you should stay out of circulation until you recover. As for the rest of us, the important factor is that you absolutely canít catch Corona from someone who doesnít have it. Likewise, nobody can catch Corona from you if you donít have it.
And it is just plain wrong to presume that everyone is infected whether they are or not. If you are feeling well try to live a normal life and let others live normally. Try to disregard the scare campaign and donít become part of the mass hysteria.
Iím CAVE MANager Paul Lotsof and he opinions youíve just heard are mine and not necessarily anyone elseís. If youíd like a copy of this editorial or youíd like to express your opinions go to the CAVE web site and select editorials. Weíre at CAVEFM.com. Thatís CAVEFM.com.