Mama used to say that when trouble walks in the front door, love usually walks out the back door. Guess there’s no doubt where my skeptical nature comes from.
A current variation on that theme might be this: When a coronavirus walks in the front door, common sense often walks out the back door. Because frankly, we are seeing some pandemic responses that are real jaw-droppers.
Let’s start with our friends at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These are the folks ultimately responsible for safeguarding residents in facilities that receive funding from either of their programs.
They are smart people. They know there is no vaccine for the novel coronavirus. They know there is no test that provides immediate confirmation that the virus is present. They know there is no cure. They know that residents in these facilities are among the most vulnerable to illness and death should an infection occur.
So are they insisting that facilities remain visitor-free until it’s reasonably safe? Uh, no. Actually, they are considering a plan that would allow visitors to enter. I swear, I am not making this up.
You know, the person driving the getaway car during a bank robbery also can be charged with the crime. What about an agency that invites death into a senior living setting? Just say it’s the facility operator’s fault?
Then there are the Mensa candidates who feel that being told to stay inside where it’s safe is somehow a violation of their constitutional rights. I suppose in a way, they do have a point. They are being told not to do something they want to do. Just as a fence on the side of a cliff prevents someone from exercising his or her freedom to take another step — and possibly die. The fence is there for a protective reason. Just like the stay-inside order.
Look, I don’t like being cooped inside either. Or taking a double-digit pay cut. Or watching friends and relatives get furloughed or laid off. Or having my limited retirement funds shrink. It all sucks. But it pales in comparison to a plague.
CMS is going to do what CMS is going to do. Here’s my suggestion for the latter group: Let people congregate wherever they want outside.
Whenever they enter a beach, restaurant or store or any public place, however, they must provide their name and a DNR, as well as a document that gives hospitals the right to treat all patients and residents with coronavirus symptoms first. Also, no public funds will be used to fund their care. Think of it as the small price to be paid for this kind of “freedom.”
It’s generally not against the law to do foolish things fueled by poor judgment. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us should be victimized by the results. Or be required to clean up a mess that never should have happened.