NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, May 14th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham. Next, Cal Thomas with a call to reject fear.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: The choice before us seems to be no choice at all: stay inside and keep businesses closed, or step outside and risk death.
But I think fear has become a greater threat than COVID-19.
Some of a certain age may recall the fears promoted during the Cold War. There were newspaper stories and TV documentaries about how long survivors of a nuclear war would have to stay inside reinforced shelters until the fallout dissipated to a point it was safe to go out.
Then, it was Geiger counters that would determine the level of radioactivity. Today, Geiger counters are temperature gauges held to our foreheads.
We can recite the precautions from memory: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, don’t shake hands, practice social distancing.
Grocery stores where I shop require masks when entering and one-way traffic aisles. A hard plastic “wall” separates me from the cashier, who is also wearing a mask. Hand sanitizers and wipes are available at the doors, where cart handles are wiped down after each use.
If these practices are almost as good as staying home, why can’t businesses employing these practices be opened so people can make a living and not rely on government? Restaurants can place tables 6 feet apart. Those operating in warmer climates could add outside tables, benches and chairs.
Last Sunday, my wife and I went to a local restaurant. Tables had been removed. We wore masks as did staff behind the counter. We purchased our food, left the place and ate outside without masks where tables and benches were available. There were others there, not all of whom were six feet apart. People engaged in social interaction, which is what humans do and need to do. No one seemed fearful.
As experts have noted, it could be months and possibly longer before a vaccine is ready. On Tuesday the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told a Senate committee there is no guarantee a vaccine will work. And there probably is more than one strain, so a single vaccine is unlikely to protect everyone from every strain.
Does that mean staying at home until perfect safety can be guaranteed? We know that’s not possible—and the public won’t stand for it. Demonstrators are already petitioning state governments to reopen. The pressure will only mount in the coming weeks and months.
Those who are at-risk should continue to stay home. But the rest of the world must learn to responsibly adapt to our new reality.
I’m Cal Thomas.