Time to Plan Our Recovery

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There is reason to hope. The new coronavirus cases for the past seven to ten days remains flat,[1] and several respected doctors say we may be reaching a turning point. We’ll know soon—so long as we don’t lose focus. Even if we’ve reached the peak, there are over 300,000 people who are sick. Some of them will not recover. Our prayers should be with them, their families, and those caring for them.

I think there are now two issues we must address as a people. The first is restarting our economy. It’s now time to consider what we need to do so we’re ready. Of the 300,000 plus current U.S coronavirus cases, about 45% of those are in two states—New York and New Jersey. Cases are isolated to specific locations in some states. These areas should be able to start back to work soon, but it must be done in a way that doesn’t restart the infections.

The second is what should we do about China? We’ll consider that topic in another article shortly. First priority is helping those here get back on their feet.

Rebuilding Our Economy

The President’s guidelines were sensible, but the way some states executed them will make repairing the damage harder. We must put Humpty-Dumpty together again, when it’s better not to break him in the first place. He never gets put back together in quite the same way.

Are there any lessons we can use in restarting the economy? Yes, at least three.

The Socialism Myth

Some say this crisis reveals America’s faults, and some of that is likely true—such as the government ineffectiveness revealed (see below). However, the state’s guideline execution often used socialism’s ideas and methods. Government control from the top. Sometimes arbitrary restrictions on movement and gatherings. Proposals by leading healthcare officials to use video and technology to monitor compliance. Google monitoring people’s movement without their consent. Shortages of basic essentials in stores.

Command and control approaches always produce unintended consequences. The focus turns from doing what is right to complying with rules and process. “I was only following orders.” Take hospitals for example. Because of the top down implementation; some are being denied treatment who need it, others who need it are afraid to seek it, and patient volumes are so low some hospitals have started layoffs. It’s crazy. The above are products of socialist methods and outcomes; order brought to society through government control and not individual decision making. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or doesn’t know what they are talking about.

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For those advocating socialism, how do you like it now? This situation provided only a small taste. It reminds us that socialism’s (and all the other -ism’s) principles are flawed. They have never worked and can never work. America’s Founders experienced some of them first hand and deliberately put structures in place trying to prevent such ideas from taking root again. Whether they were successful or not depends today on us.

So what does work?

Where Help and Hope Lie

We repeatedly saw government agency ineffectiveness. They did try. But the CDC and some states just couldn’t do what was needed. They spent precious time dithering; debating what should be done, who should do it, how to do it, etc. To his credit, the President asked for help. It came from the private sector. He also led by using the military, when state’s couldn’t get things done. He told them what was needed and they just went and did it. They did it because it was the right thing to do. They served others. Many of them made exceptional efforts and from all appearances much of those succeeded. Kudos to them all. They deserve our thanks and respect.

The only true answer lies with us. Many citizens are helping others whose businesses have been shut down, lost their jobs, or just can’t go out because they are more vulnerable. Millions stepping forward to help. It is refreshing to see after the last twelve years. While we couldn’t go to church; we became the church.

So why the media’s negative reaction to our apparent success? Last century’s American pandemics each resulted in 100,000 or more deaths. So far, it doesn’t look like we will approach those numbers. Thank God, although there will be many more deaths than we want. The media’s reaction makes no sense if they have America’s best interest at heart. If they don’t then why do we continue to listen to them at all? Are they part of the solution or the problem? I believe many of them have chosen to be the latter.

Faith’s Role

Virginia’s Governor last week issued a shelter in place order after some people went to the beach over the weekend. Punishing the state for the actions of a few. He expected moral behavior towards his earlier orders, some of which were not moral.[2] Guidelines were issued, but individuals and businesses were not allowed the opportunity to decide the best way to comply. They were just given a set of rules to obey.

Morality is about doing the right thing for the right reason. It concerns righteousness. We are not born with such knowledge, but must learn it. And it comes from only one place—God. God is the source of all morality. Period. Man’s morality is false, that same morality underlies socialism. Today’s Democratic party, supported whole-heartedly by our Governor, have worked tirelessly for the past seventy years to remove God from every aspect of society where he should be present. You can’t have it both ways. In order to have a moral society, they must learn what morality is, and then practice it so they become better.

Faith involves trusting in another—either man or God. I choose God. Evidently many others do too. We see it in the entrepreneurs and military stepping forward when needed. We see it in our citizens stepping forward helping others in need. Not by making those in need dependent, but helping them remain independent. We know because they stepped forward to serve, not be served. Maybe our Governor can learn from them.

What Lies Ahead

When the time comes, the President will likely issue a plan, some guidelines, or priorities to get our economy going again. We should be allowed to make our own choices as to how best to do it. Government resources should only be used to assist those efforts when we need it. We must lead through service, remaining turned to God and not ourselves. We must know what we need to do, and then go about it. Together, I believe we’ll make Humpty better than he was before. But it will take faith, sacrifice, and commitment. Are you ready?

[1] CDC, Coronavirus Disease 2019, EPI Curve: U.S. Cases by Illness Onset, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html#epi-curve.

[2] Wolf, Dan, Profiles in Leadership, Fear, and Morality, https://vachristian.org/profiles-in-leadership-fear-and-morality/, 2020.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Dan Wolf
Dan Wolf is a researcher and analyst; examining complex, abstract topics. His writing’s premise is based on one simple idea. We do not receive the benefits of God’s gifts unless we are turned toward Him. Each generation needs to learn this lesson to pass on what’s important. What are those gifts? Freedom, faith, and grace among others. Our Founders considered education, religion, morality, and virtue to be the cornerstones for any successful society. Success requires an education in both the languages of reason and faith, reason alone is not enough. Unfortunately, our education system today no longer teaches what we need to be successful, so we risk losing our way. But it is not too late. In the end we each have the freedom to choose, and the ability to learn. There are many who have already blazed a trail for us; we only need the will to embrace the challenge and make the effort. Together we will restore the societal foundation that our Founder’s, and many after them, fought and died for. The choice is ours. My goal is to assist you on your way. I can be reached at livingrightly@mindspring.com. His site is at:  http://www.livingrightly.net/