Letter: Returning to ‘normal’
Let us don our rose-colored glasses and engage in some wildly-optimistic thinking about what it could be like when we return to “normal.”
Let’s stipulate that we will get through to the other side without resorting to mass graves, civil war or a dystopian future that includes the worst features of “The Road.”
Let’s further stipulate that we can dig deep in our souls to find good grace, good will and good humor to solve our problems.
Now add a magic bullet or two: an anti-viral medication that tones down the COVID-19 virus into the realm of a bad case of the flu and a new vaccine that comes on stream in record-setting time.
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Add in massive testing for the virus and its antibodies, and we should be able to go back to work in a few months, rather than years.
Now, as we start returning to normal, what kind of normal do we want?
First things first, we need to get private money out of politics and replace it with public funding of political campaigns. We simply cannot make progress unless we get rid of legal bribery. We have to get rid of Citizens United and the nonsense that corporations are “people.”
Two, any politician that utters the words “We can’t afford…” should be slapped in the face. The Fed and Congress are throwing trillions of dollars around, like spaghetti at the wall, to see what sticks. We can be smart about money: make sure the rich pay their fair share by eliminating socialism for the rich.
Three, let’s implement the Green New Deal and put this country to work building a future that works for Main Street rather than Wall Street and billionaires. Let’s retrofit every existing building for energy efficiency and slap solar panels on every roof or south-facing wall. Just as we need to mitigate the spread of this virus, so too we need to mitigate the worst of the climate change that’s rushing toward us.
Fourth, we need universal health care and a robust public health system that can rapidly respond to the next outbreak, because there will be one.
Our health should never be subject to the whims of for-profit insurance companies or hospital.
What kind of new normal would you like? Discuss.
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