The virus came first. If there had been no virus, it’s almost certain that there would have been no economic disaster. People would still be working, summer would mean what summer has always meant, our lives would be recognizable, and we wouldn’t be wearing masks.

But the virus came to the entire world and we can see what it has done. We’re isolated because isolation will keep us safe from this invisible monster, and isolation is the only option we have. We fight it by hiding from it.

The entire world is hurting now, living alone, dying alone, because the virus came first. If the virus had been a known foreign power, we would have counter-attacked long ago, with a clear goal in mind. If Country X had attacked us, we would not bomb the hell out of Country R in retaliation, because doing so would be insane.

When we fight, we fight the known enemy.

So, why did we stop fighting the virus? Why did we silence our scientists, or get rid of them? Why are we ignoring the virus, or mocking the defensive efforts to weaken it? If the virus caused everything we see now, why are we marshaling our forces to defend an area that can’t be defended?

The economy is a concept, an idea, an abstract. It isn’t real. It’s what we call something else, and in this case, it’s what we call working people. People are the economy. If we take people away, what’s left? A smaller economy? No, if we take people away, we’ve got nothing.

The economy has been beat up before and it’s always come back, because the people have come back. People figure stuff out. People look at the facts – all the facts – and respond accordingly. If the facts say it’s a good idea to stay away from the virus’s playground, that’s what we do. We don’t get all Gallipoli-ed due to frustration. If the virus kills people, we don’t feed it.

The economy can’t defeat the virus. We know this is true. The economy was strong when the virus attacked, and the economy was destroyed by the virus, routed in a few confusing weeks. The economy cannot defeat the virus, and we all know this, yet our leaders insist that we step out into the open and dare the virus to do the same thing it’s been doing for months.

Dollars aren’t going to win this fight. Brains are going to win. Science is going to win. Medicine is going to win, but if medicine is buried in more and more victims of the virus, how long before medicine becomes a victim? If our best efforts are misdirected to the economy instead of to the invading virus, what then?

If a stroke causes someone to fall and break a leg, do we ignore the stroke and fix the leg first?

Does anyone really believe the economy will win the fight this time? Why are we feeding the virus? Aren’t we just doing the same thing we did before? And aren’t we going to see the same results?

Gene L. Thompson,
Pelican Rapids