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Don’t mix health and politics

Yeah, we know, we get it, a global pandemic in an already-hostile American election year is like a splash of gasoline in a campfire. You just know it’s gonna’ flare and draw some comment from everyone who sees it.

Like gas and flame, there are two things that should never mix -- health and politics. And while we can offer nothing new to the avalanche of new and changing information you’ve received on the coronavirus in just the last week, we can make one suggestion that can’t hurt. Please, no matter who you plan to vote for in April or even November, don’t make this one political. COVID-19 is not President Trump’s fault any more than George W. Bush “caused” Hurricane Katrina, so accept it as the natural phenomena that it is and do the best you can to keep yourself and others from catching it. The more we all do, the quicker it all ends.

Of course, the Democrats are screaming about the Trump Administration’s response to the epidemic, as if, if they were in power, they’d have a better clue of what to do. And also inevitably, the incumbent is deflecting blame and claiming his response is “tremendous” and “perfect” because to say otherwise would be to endanger his re-electability. Again, that’s all politics, but the people in ICU beds whose body organs are shutting down because their lungs are damaged by the coronavirus don’t care. Neither should the thousands of people who are likely infected without knowing it yet, nor the hundreds of thousands who could well be in the next few months or more.

There is no value whatsoever in criticizing this state’s Democratic governor for closing schools, restaurants, etc., just because you’re a Republican. Likewise, if you lean liberal, it helps absolutely no one to suggest that the President’s responses to the outbreak are motivated purely by how it might get him re-elected.

Who we need to listen to now are the public health experts, the doctors, the highly-trained and dedicated people whose sole motivation is first containment of COVID-19, and eventually effective treatment and/or vaccination. If your child’s school is closed or you can’t go out to eat this Friday night, well, so it is. Deal with it, understand the reason behind it, but don’t skewer the public official who has to decide between poor options in a time of pending crisis.

It’s a good time to remember your mother’s advice: If you can’t say something positive, don’t say anything.