Richard Gonzalez, Livermore
For the moment, we are breathing easier.
The coronavirus lockdown has been relaxed. What if it comes back?
It probably will. The attitude of President Biden is not much different from Dr. Fauci’s, whose public comments indicate that he believes the lockdown or some variation on it should go on forever. Both of them discourage Americans from wanting a return to normalcy.
If one looks for supporters of the lockdown, they seem to be very rare. They do, however, exist. Invariably, they are either government bureaucrats or elderly people. The latter group, those over the age of 65, are supposed to be at greater risk from dying if the virus infects them. They can be seen wearing their masks wherever they go. Many will wear a mask while driving.
The people in this group may want to think again about what really matters to them.
A few of us know a few who have contracted the coronavirus. Almost invariably, they are back on their feet after a week of laying in bed. A little rest is the cure for almost all. The number of coronavirus victims pales in comparison to the number of people who will be affected adversely if the lockdown comes back.
I would venture to say that far more of us know a recipient of Social Security than someone who died from the pandemic.
How do retirees imagine that the Social Security system will continue, if workers have to stay home?
The system is a pay as you go one. The money that retirees spend comes from today’s workers. The government funded retirement system will already be under strain as the decade wears on. There have occasionally been whispers about the possibility of a reduction in benefits because the next generation, far less numerous than the Baby Boomers who are going into retirement, will not pay into it to the same extent.
What if unemployment rates remain at current levels or go back to where they were a year ago? How can federal and state governments keep writing checks for retirees and today’s unemployed workers also?
We are headed for trouble. But there is a solution. It is the one that the current President and his allies at CNN have relied on until now. It has worked. Blame Trump and the people who voted for him. Everything is their fault, after all. Right?