While he warned that if “you lock down everything now, you’re going to crash the whole society,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a lead voice of the Coronavirus Task Force, said on Sunday the response on every level is a massively consequential balancing act and series of compromises.

Our local leaders should take heed. How long can government and businesses be shut down for weeks without serious economic consequences?

 




Businesses and government should operate as normally as possible following the advice of professionals by, among other things, limiting gatherings to 10 or less and practicing basic hand washing.

At some point, normalcy will have to return or the economic engine may never fire again.

Fauci warned that across-the-board shelter-in-place orders cause a massive disruption in people’s lives and the economy, and thus create other potentially dangerous consequences — perhaps even more dangerous than the virus itself.

Our local officials will have to adapt quickly to rapidly changing conditions and new information about the spread. We are not New York or L.A. — or even Jackson.

Meanwhile, take advantage of curbside service and if you need something, call your local retailer. Some storefronts are closed, but offering free shipping. Let’s support them as best we can safely and responsibly.

Mississippi’s emergency response capabilities are among the best in the country, in large part thanks to the lessons learned during Katrina.

As more people are being tested for the coronavirus, expect a spike in infections, but that is not a reason to panic.

Our supply chains are intact. The strain comes when everyone buys at once. Stop hoarding and buy only what you need.

“This is not a time for us to panic,” Gov. Tate Reeves said on Saturday in announcing unemployment benefits. Small businesses can apply for relief at disasterloan.sba.gov.

“This is a time for us to come together as Mississippians, as Americans,” Reeves said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and their employees are the people who keep our economy going.”

Congress, as this page was going to press, was still bickering over a stimulus package that would help small businesses, individuals and the major industries.

A New York Times headline early in the week said: “Democrats Block Action on $1.8 Trillion Stimulus” — and they have.

Democrats wanted to tack on all sorts of goodies that don’t have anything to do with the coronavirus stimulus. Mandatory same-day voting, more monies for sanctuary cities and abortions and new emission standards for airlines were among the goodies.

Helping working families and businesses weather the coronavirus storm should be the priority, not ushering in the far left-wing agenda of the Democrat Party.

Our leaders must rise above the politics and get the stimulus done for the American people.

There are promising drugs to rid the virus along with emerging vaccines. The full force of American ingenuity is at work. Telemedicine has taken off. What kind of massive shifts will there be with distance learning? America will be better, stronger.

The psalmist writes in Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” That is comfort we can take as our country — the greatest in the world — pulls together in the true American spirit to ultimately prevail as we always have as a free people.

If the coronavirus curve is flattened and the infection goes as quickly as it came, a rapid economic rebound is predicted.

How long can a third of the American economy be shut down? How long can our state, our city be shut down?

The answer is, with God’s help, a massively consequential balancing act.