The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.
When spring comes things change in Thiensville, even during the age of the virus. Having been inside for over a month hiding from the virus (and the cold weather) this past weekend the village people (myself included) went outside and started milling around.
“What do you think of the lockdowns?” I asked a doctor friend of mine, who like me was out on the street.
“On a scientific level the medical community is divided on this topic,” he replied.
“How so?” I asked.
“Some experts like the Swedish epidemiologist Johan Giesecke (plus others) say it was a mistake to overreact to sketchy projections and it would have been better to isolate the vulnerable and let everyone else run free. But Governor Evers and his cadre of alternative experts say it is better to lock everybody down, as we have done in Wisconsin,” explained my medical friend.
“Hmm,” I said. “Do divided scientific experts cancel each other out?”
“Yep,” responded the doctor. “We don’t know yet, and we will probably never know with 100% certainty, whether Evers’ orders actually saved lives, or cost lives when compared with other, different strategies we might have adopted. Evers’ orders are stricter than CDC Guidelines, a discrepancy he will eventually have to explain. And it has already been conceded that Evers’ orders are clearcutting Main Street businesses across the state. Then too, it is probable that the longer Evers’ orders remain in place the higher their expense in terms of lives lost, as well as money, and quality of life for the patient, which in this case is the public as a whole will become. Finally, we mustn’t forget the tremendous inconvenience of the whole thing – an inconvenience which will increasingly strike home as everybody misses the customary graduations, festivals, sports events, playgrounds, restaurants, etc.”
“Spare us the Monday morning quarterbacking,” snarled a local Democrat, who was also a medical professional. Maybe he has been whispering in the Governors’ ear?
“Well I can tell you that a federal judge in Kansas put a stay on an order the Governor there issued, and the same thing might happen to the unconstitutional orders Governor Evers and his Ms. Palm at the Department of Health Services are issuing here!” exclaimed the neighborhood constitutional scholar, who just then walked by with his beagle in tow.
“Depends on the judge!” interjected a local school teacher, who still supports Evers’ orders, and told me later she thought they were going to have to be extended for at least 18 months.
In the meantime the constitutionality question caused the entire street gathering (assembled spontaneously in accordance with the recommended social distancing guidelines) to erupt in a cacophony of disharmonious voices.
When they had worn themselves out arguing one of them asked, “Mr. President, what do you think we should do going forward?”
“Well,” I said. “Everybody has either had it, has it, or will have it. The mortality rate seems relatively low and it appears that the virus was fairly widely spread in the population before Evers started locking things down. Evers locked us down to “flatten the curve” and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. The hospitals are half empty, not in danger of being overwhelmed, and no scientist imagines that we can stop the inevitable spread of the virus. So…given that I opposed the orders from the beginning, but thought Evers had the authority to issue orders to address it (but not perhaps the precise ones he has ended up issuing) it is no surprise I am for unlocking sooner rather than later — and doing it with a minimum of fuss. The longer Evers waits to lift the orders the more they will be challenged in court and/or ignored.”
“And the more he will become what he already looks like, a political Cadaver!” prophesied one of my street companions. About half of the rest laughed mercilessly. The rest were aghast.
As I walked back home I thought to myself, “Will Evers withdraw his orders before or after they have all turned merciless?” Who knows? At least it is something new to watch.
— Mobley is the president of the village of Thiensville.