A “Progressive” Approach To Handling The Coronavirus — OPEN EVERYTHING!

I often wonder why progressives are now the group who prefer the status quo. Am I out-progressing those who once called themselves “progressive?” If my memory serves me correctly, progressives want to move things forward and make progress. If so, why not push the envelope? I feel it is time to challenge prevailing wisdom and push political progressives to become genuinely forward-thinking.

Here is what I mean. We have a society where remaining in lockdown mode feels safe, but it is not. Staying in this never-ending limbo has made things worse. Lockdowns are causing societal disruption. Businesses cannot survive with so many restrictions. Without city and state governments providing for all of their expenses, they will inevitably fail. Being forced to operate at 25% of their potential earnings is unsustainable.

Citizens of states who do not allow businesses to be fully operational will feel the pain as well. How can people who have been laid off and are receiving unemployment survive without the state providing for their every need? How will people pay for their healthcare expenses, rent, mortgage, food, clothing, and bills without providing for themselves at some point? The state government cannot, and the federal government is not interested in providing money to states in the manner certain politicians would prefer.

Wouldn’t it be time to stir the pot and try some new, radical ideas? With so much emphasis on people protesting, tearing down statues all over the country, taking over parts of major cities with CHAZ/CHOP, why not take that same way of thinking and shake things up.

Here’s my radical idea: OPEN UP EVERYTHING! Yes, that means starting tomorrow; all business, courts, sports, entertainment, social life, and anything related to human connection will be back to how it was on March 1st of 2020. Nothing will be closed.

To make this happen, whatever business, venue, or institution to re-open is allowed to make their own rules. Every state must repeal its “state of emergency” and allow its citizens to resume all activities in the manner they so choose.

If that requires a particular business demanding all employees and customers to wear face masks, so be it. Temperature checks can be taken at the door of each building, people can wear plastic gloves, plastic barriers can be erected between people, hand sanitizer machines can ooze liquid all over the floor and can be within reach at all times. Any new protocol will be managed by each particular business or organization. If someone does not like those regulations, they have the freedom to go elsewhere. The strict protocols only apply to any building people may enter. Whatever rules these establishments enact, people must adhere to, as long as it is constitutional.

One more caveat; if you are outside, citizens can do whatever they want. People can walk around with dirty hands, discard face masks, gather in groups of 10, 20, 30…whatever they choose. Businesses can also open up completely and there may be no rules regarding masks, social distancing, gloves, hand sanitizer, or talk of COVID within 25 feet of the establishment. If people choose not to patronize this business, that is the choice of the general public.

The difference between my proposal and what’s happening now is no government has control over society any longer. Their semi-dictatorial powers will vanish instantly. The freedom to participate in normal societal functions will resume.

Look, let us deal with reality here. Mask wars are out of control. I wonder what the purpose of it all is. Why are we insisting on mask-wearing four months into the pandemic? Are masks the solution? If so, are we supposed to continue to socially distance? If wearing masks is the only issue stopping the virus, why not have all establishments who want to conduct business enact policies where masks must be worn properly? Couldn’t we all go back to work with people around us wearing masks indoors? Maybe it’s about social distancing. Well, that’s not true because many local leaders felt political protests trumped social distancing protocols.

What happened to the emphasis on vigorous hand washing?

If it’s all three, why the exceptions when people feel like making them? Have you seen governors walking in public without masks? In a crowd? I have. I’ve seen protests with mask-wearing but no social distancing and social distancing with no masks. None of it makes sense to me.

I often wonder what the heck is going on with our thinking nowadays. Has anyone thought about what we are doing in our country? There seems to be an amen chorus on social media and elsewhere. None of the parishioners ever wants to ask the preacher what the heck he meant during the sermon. No one wants to question what’s going on. I know I can’t be the only one feeling skeptical about what I see.

What metric are we using to say this pandemic is over? Are we looking for zero deaths in all states? How long is temporary? When people talk about shutdowns, is four months long enough, or do we need another several more? What happens after six or seven months? What if there is no vaccine for a few years? Our country now has several states in various phases of re-opening. Has anyone looked into what these states are measuring, and how do citizens hold them accountable? New York has a phase 5 no one knew about until yesterday.

If no one can answer these questions, I’ll move things forward. I’ll be “progressive” and demand a new way ahead. What does that mean? The only way out is through.

Some say, “PEOPLE MIGHT DIE!” Spoiler alert; people die every single day. My mother died last April from cancer. Cancer is a disease that kills well over 600,000 people each year. Let’s say 200,000 people die from this by the end of 2020. That is not a very pleasant thought. I don’t want anyone to die from anything. Nevertheless, it happens. Should we shut down our society to save someone like my mother and the other 599,999 who died last year, and this year and the next from cancer?

Protect the vulnerable, elderly, and quarantine those who fall ill to this virus. We do not close an entire school, office, production, or court system if one person gets Tuberculosis or the flu. The same should apply to this highly contagious viral infection.

We cannot stay stuck in this conservative loop of stagnation by keeping things the same.

Be progressive.

Open EVERYTHING!

Clayton Craddock is an independent thinker, father of two beautiful children in New York City. He is the drummer of the hit broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University’s School of Business and is a 25 year veteran of the fast-paced New York City music scene. He has played drums in several hit broadway and off-broadway musicals, including “Tick, tick…BOOM!, Altar Boyz, Memphis The Musical and Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Also, Clayton has worked on: Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Cats, and Avenue Q. Share Think Things Through

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Originally published at https://claytoncraddock.substack.com.