Open for Business

Florida, like many other states, is getting ready to reopen for business. This is going to be a slow process. It has to be. We can’t mess this up.

Stay-at-home orders begin being lifted next week.  It’s being done in phases.  Restaurants and retailers get the first green light—with limited capacity.  Bars, gyms, spas and salons stay closed for now.  (It helps so much being bald and using clippers to trim what’s left of my hair.  My eyebrows.  That’s a different story.)

When this is all over with, I wonder who will be best remembered for how they handled the pandemic?

I point to Sweden.  Of all the places in the world, I’m most intrigued by how Sweden has chosen to deal with this.  Lots of reporting on Sweden’s decision to not put itself on lockdown.  At least, not completely.  It has opted for what’s called “herd immunity.”  That’s the concept that so many people get immune to a disease that it stops it from spreading.  You do this by getting the disease and develop an immunity… or you get vaccinated against it.

We are not at the vaccination stage with Covid-19 yet.

This is a controversial subject.  Some believe it is a terrible idea.  Still though, Sweden is worth looking at.

Tom Friedman writes a fascinating opinion piece in The New York Times.  “Is Sweden Doing It Right?‘  The upside to herd immunity is that the economy doesn’t tank from lockdowns.  He also writes that because of lockdowns in other countries, their populations  have not been exposed to the virus.  No herd immunity.  We are all still vulnerable to the virus if it comes back.

To be fair, Friedman believes that quarantines have saved countless lives.

In Sweden, many businesses and schools have remained open.  People are encouraged to social distance.  The government has encouraged anyone over 70 to stay home.  Large gatherings are banned.

It remains to be seen if this is going to work.  It’s certainly a model to study.  Now, as many states are starting to lift their restrictions, will herd immunity start to kick in in America?  Will some people get Coronavirus and get a little sick?  Very sick?  Not sick at all?  Will more people get the virus and die?  These are difficult questions.  There are no easy answers either.

Is it too soon to start easing restrictions? It depends on who you ask.  No shortage of opinion either.  Our new normal is starting to happen.  I just hope we are ready for it… and the consequences.

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