The Politics of Duh

Crowds Flock to Newport Beach as Critics Cry ‘Corona’

This Saturday the weather in Newport Beach, Calif. was spectacular. While most beaches along the Southern California coastline remain closed, Newport Beach never shut off its sandy shores, so naturally, beachgoers arrived for a day of surf and sunshine.

When the weather hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the quarantined had enough, and while some mocked the move to visit the beach in droves, it makes mathematical sense.

The mortality rate in California is one of the lowest in the country at 44 deaths per million and yet Governor Gavin Newsom, if you listen to his doom-and-gloom speeches, acts like the bubonic plague has hit the Golden State.

For whatever reason – maybe the UV light or the wellness-inducing factors of outdoor, healthy living – coronavirus had minimal impact in California. So, why was it shut down? In fact, why was all of the U.S. shut down instead of enacting state-by-state action plans?

Closing one of the largest and most powerful economies in the world is proving to be a disastrous decision, especially since this virus will probably be no more deadly than a typical flu, (and will not reach the estimated 200,000 deaths originally postulated by Dr. Fauci). Even as numbers come in to show the discrepancies between death rates in each state, we continue to use a universal message to all: Stay home. Businesses that aren’t essential must be closed, the economy nationwide must suffer.

Screenings in both Massachusetts and California point to as many as 50 to 60 times the amount of cases of COVID-19, which drops the death rate far lower than .1%. With all the draconian measures in New York, one of the strictest quarantines in the U.S., the mortality rate is about 30 times worse than that of California

Congressman Dan Crenshaw, (R-Texas), a former Navy SEAL, explained in a recent Houston Chronicle op-ed that the approach now does not have to be binary between perpetual lockdown and the threat of a coronavirus death. Yes, a tactical retreat from COVID-19 made sense when we had less complete data but now, it’s time to go back on offense and mobilize. Congressman Crenshaw calls for risk mitigation and simply, living smart. Wash your hands, don’t go to work if you’re sick. Get tested if you don’t feel well. It’s really, as we say on this blog, the politics of duh.

But OK, you might argue, shouldn’t the Newport Beach-goers have at least been wearing masks? Let’s unmask that theory, too. The virus size is .1 to .3 microns, which will easily penetrate a porous mask. In addition, the eyes are an easy entry point for virus particles, as are the ears. Even with stringent measures, health care workers are still affected at a large rate. (The New York Times reported more than 9,000 health care workers have contracted the virus.) And let’s not forget the skin, which could also allow a virus to enter. In short, full scuba gear may be the only effective deterrent. Social media presents us with a few examples of how these alternate virus-deterrents are working out:

The real question isn’t “how do we stop the virus?” but “how do we go back to some semblance of normalcy to help restore our economy?” The current guidelines treat this virus as though every state has been hit as hard as the East Coast. It was a bad decision and now it’s time to re-open the country … quickly.