Science must guide us as we push our way through this pandemic.
President Donald Trump has expressed a desire to get the country up and running by Easter, saying on Tuesday, “Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full. You’ll have packed churches all over our country.”
It would be great, but as much as we all want that, we have a way to go before we’re there. And we don’t think economic or political pressures should drive this decision; the best medical science should.
Besides, we have yet to see how much this stimulus might offset some of the economic pain.
Trump also expressed frustration with physicians.
“I’m sure that we have doctors that would say, ‘Let’s keep it closed for two years,’” Trump said. “No, we got to get it open.”
He added, “This cure is worse than the problem.”
But call this too early, when people are still getting sick and dying, when hospitals are still overwhelmed, when the curve is still climbing, not flattening, and it will not matter at all what the president says or wants. Nobody will be going to restaurants or theaters, even if they reopen, and nobody will be flying on airplanes, even if they promise to double the legroom.
Our counsel here is to listen to the medical experts, some of whom are warning us the worst is still ahead.
On Monday, the Missouri State Medical Association asked for tougher — not looser — restrictions. The state’s largest association of physicians and surgeons sent a letter to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson asking for a shelter-in-place order by executive action.
“If things progress as is, COVID-19 patients will deplete the state’s available hospital beds, ventilators and precious personal protection equipment,” the group warned Monday.
The organization said a shelter-in-place order is now the only way to curb “exponential growth” of the pandemic in Missouri. Many cities in Missouri are taking this action on their own, including Springfield and Columbia on Tuesday as well as Kansas City and St. Louis this past weekend.
Let’s push through this 15-day period, let’s reassess, but let’s ready ourselves to stay in this for the long haul and to do whatever is necessary.
And let’s trust to science to lead.