An Absurd Coronavirus Narrative

Some of the narratives surrounding Coronavirus are absurd. COVID-19 is a real threat, and many of the measures we are taking to slow the spread are necessary, but that does not rule out the fact that many arguments people are using to keep people in place are illogical. The tweet below, featuring a video by Governor Cuomo of New York, is a perfect example, and Cuomo is not the only one arguing this way. Take a minute to watch the video, and then we will look at how the logic falls apart.

Cuomo was asked about people who want to work because they are running out of money. His answer is, “economic hardship doesn’t equal death.” In essence, he is saying if you go back to work, you will kill other people, yourself, or both, and nothing is worse than death. He then ended the clip by saying, “You want to go back to work? Take a job as an essential worker?”

Here is the problem in reasoning

Premise 1: Nothing is worse than death, and going to work kills people.

Premise 2: Going back to work as an essential worker is okay.

The problem: If going to work kills people, then essential workers are killing people, and if nothing is worse than death, essential workers should not be going to work.

Cuomo has two options here. First, he can admit that he overstated the first premise, or he can acknowledge that essential workers are killing people, and he is okay with that. He could even justify it by agreeing that some things are worse than death. If he goes with the second option, he would need to admit that he is willing to have some of the people under his jurisdiction die to keep places like liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries open.

Since it is clear that essential workers are not killing people by doing their jobs, it is evident that the first premise is an overstatement. Once we understand this, the manipulation becomes obvious.

Here is what Cuomo is saying to you. “You cannot go back to work unless it is a job the government approves of, then you can work all you want. You will not kill people working approved jobs. The government will continue to decide which jobs are approved, which ones are not, and do not even think about worshiping together in small, socially distanced, groups.”

I realize there is significant danger involved with this pandemic. Still, if we are safely able to go to the grocery store with hundreds of other people by taking extensive precautions, such as masks and cleaning products, there are a thousands of other things we could do safely as well.

Let me end with this final thought because many people seem to think that since the pandemic is so bad, it is suitable for our politicians to violate the constitution and a person’s right to work and their freedom of religion. There is no situation where governmental authorities have the right to suspend the constitution because doing so would nullify the very thing that grants them power in the first place.

Do your part to combat coronavirus, and be on guard to make sure no one is attempting to undermine your liberties with absurd arguments.

-D. Eaton

2 thoughts on “An Absurd Coronavirus Narrative

  1. Premise 1 just needs to be modified to “Everyone going back to work can kill people at a greater rate”, hence it is the reason why Premise2 “essential workers working is acceptable” and the argument holds for a variety of conclusions to be drawn when a 3rd premise is added that weighs prioritization and personal assessment and relevance. Cuomo in this case and other officials, (and health care professionals too…if you even value their assessments/premises) obviously remind everyone about their 3rd premises with each statement to the public…. otherwise society/infrastructure falls apart and presumably you can have one of many things happen( i.e. famine can be a result?) I agree liquor stores and dispensaries aren’t part of the pillars that hold up society, BUT farmers, grocery store people, and all logistical positions in between… plus police, fire, health services are essential. Everything else is a cherry on top. Problem is everyone wants to be the cherry and they don’t know when to wait for their turn or I agree are being passed up on their “appropriate” turn.(I put it in quotes because to be fair, I must suspend my voice from being any sort of a certain claim… I shouldn’t use “my definition” of appropriate) As far as worshiping, it should always be allowed but note that those who would have compromised to hold service in a modified way were suppose to lead by example, but there were others that also believed absolutely no modification could be imposed or suggested, since, well, it was not provided as a bullet point by each religion’s respective God or script…in other words some leaned heavily on the following premise:”if God did not say x, we are not gonna follow x.” So I believe you have said what I said in a more concise way and intelligible way, but we differ some too, the question is whether both of us or only one of us believes the results today were in fact a result of the precautions taken throughout the last 4-6 weeks. Meaning, those who argue for going back to work because their circumstances require it or patience has run out, would benefit from acknowledging it has, because they spend so much time arguing for their point, that those who oppose can’t always hear what you don’t say. I think opinions of those who want to go back to work wouldn’t be dismissed so quickly if there was some agreement that something had to be done….but again I don’t know if there ever was agreement on that point. I agree that the right to work and freedom of religion are virtually untouchable, like I can’t dispute that in any way, I would fail if I tried, and I am trying and I am failing, but I always wish to find a solution, minimize dispute, and certainly not go to war…so what is that solution if each is absolute in their ways? if we each don’t secede some/compromise some, then I keep trying to see how far we get, and my limited wisdom narrow and only sees that we can agree to segregate? but that just feels wrong and less harmonious and impractical or perhaps impossible. Like we can’t all start our own sovereign nation. Group 1)Those who want to work and have a different plan for handling the pandemic. Group 2)those who’s way of handling the pandemic is to limit transmissions by limiting work. It’s almost as if some got the lottery ticket depending on which state they live in, and others got screwed. There are 50 states with varying degrees of responses/regulation/control. Wouldn’t be great to be in a State at the right time that is “just right” with one’s personal parameters. The right neighbors, the right governor, the right plan of action,all warm and cozy. This would be ideal, but it is ridiculous to pursue because I only see divisive comments creeping up like, “well if you don’t like it here, go somewhere else”. But because it is not easy to up root a family, those comments are literally a waste of breath….The thousands of other things we can do safely are just not in the order that you want, or I want, or they want..and it is probably because some unavailable resources are required to reorder the list, but I don’t hear any government official saying all things are not on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

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