The Covid-19 coronavirus is not a hoax and is an deadly disease far worse than the flu. I am a very strong supporter of social distancing, stay at home lifestyle, wearing masks, and being as safe as possible. People who can work from home absolutely should.
However, we need to reopen the economy immediately. As dangerous as the coronavirus is, we are now seeing that trying to stop the economy is going to cause consequences worse than the disease itself. Part of this is the fault of the incompetent current American government, part of it is the nature of trying to “pause” life in general. 16 million people are unemployed, many of them without money. Food pantries are overwhelmed by the demand and running out of food. Kids are missing out on education and socialization. Many other important and serious conditions are not being treated, such as cancer patients with elective treatments. We are seeing supply chains blow up and there will be very severe consequences from this over the coming months.
So how do we reopen the economy? Here are my recommendations:
- If you can work from home, you must. Any company that forces employees to come to work unnecessarily should be legally liable. Any employee that insists on going to work unnecessarily should be legally liable.
- Revoke all patents related to needed medical supplies and equipment and treatment. This goes for ventilators, n95 masks, tests, pharmaceuticals, and anything else even vaguely related to handling this. Patents are a giant block to competition and lower prices and much higher supplies. Patents do not encourage innovation, they artificially enrich people who don’t deserve it and limit future innovation, constrain supply and raise prices.
- Roll back all government regulation of the medical treatment and supply industry related to the virus. The FDA and CDC cost us precious weeks in early stages of the virus and still are preventing treatments, tests, and supplies from reaching those who need them most.
- Punish those who put out misinformation later with heavy financial penalties and firing them from their jobs. This includes the Mayor of New York Bill De Blasio who encouraged people to go to restaurants and recently as March 11, Sean Hannity who lied to people about the virus being a hoax and a political thing, Donald Trump who’s incompetence is still preventing our countries proper response and the Governor of Florida for the same thing.
- Pass government regulation allowing for the mandatory install of tracking / tracing software on every phone everywhere. We need to be able to trace the disease to end it, that is more important than privacy concerns at this point. We should also pass a law that allows people to deactivate it when there is not a deadly disease like this going around.
- Massive, mandatory testing of everyone frequently. People with the disease go into mandatory quarantine. This could be done using our military.
If we don’t get the economy going immediately, we are going to see worse consequences than those we hoped to avoid from the virus.