April 16. That’s the day every lockdown order in America should have ended. Not because the virus was eradicated that day (it obviously was not), and not because of economic concerns. No, the lockdowns should have ended because every quarantine talking point got overturned by the top coronavirus authority in the land.
In an interview on a Snapchat show, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the doctor who has served as our national COVID-19 spokesman was asked about how people should navigate their use of dating apps during quarantine. Here was his answer:
You know, that’s tough. Because it’s what’s called relative risk. If you really feel that you don’t want to have any part of this virus, will you maintain six feet away, wear a mask, do all the things that we talk about in the guidelines? If you’re willing to take a risk—and you know, everybody has their own tolerance for risks—you could figure out if you want to meet somebody. And it depends on the level of the interaction that you want to have. If you’re looking for a friend, sit in a room and put a mask on, and you know, chat a bit. If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk.
“If you’re willing to take a risk…”
“Everybody has their own tolerance for risks…”
“That’s your choice regarding a risk…”
By saying these things, Dr. Fauci revealed two principles that undermine the entire narrative the actions of the last 2 months have been built on. First, he believes people should be free to choose their own risk. Essentially, the advice above boils down to this: calculate your own risk and make your own decisions based on what you’re comfortable with. If you’re willing to risk catching the virus and the other person is too, you’re free to make that choice. You may think that’s a great idea, and you may think that’s a terrible idea. Regardless of our feelings, it’s the officially endorsed position by the face of our national coronavirus task force.
The question, then, is obvious – Why hasn’t that been the official recommendation across the board? Why haven’t we been allowed that kind of self-governance with regard to supporting mom and pop shops? Eating at restaurants? Going to the library? Opening businesses? Assembling in a church building? Playing basketball in a park?
Dr. Fauci endorsed the idea of choosing your activity level based on your own comfort and sense of risk with regard to only one thing – meeting up and having sex with strangers. Every guideline goes out the window in that situation. It’s the quickest, most efficient way to violate every social distancing, germ-free recommendation. But, “if you want to take the risk, go for it.” He even made sure to add that people shouldn’t do so under illusion that they’re healthy, because in his view the virus can be spread even if both parties are totally asymptomatic. That means he made this proclamation knowing full well it could further the transmission of the virus, and that the choice is yours as to whether possibly getting coronavirus is a worthwhile tradeoff for having a date.
Flattening the curve, #StayHomeSaveLives, all those slogans we’ve been trained to recite… Fauci brushed them aside as irrelevant in this case. In his view, the entire premise of government dictating our actions to stop the spread of the virus – the premise this whole thing was built on – goes out the window the minute a person decides they need some casual sex. You can’t choose to sit 10′ from someone in a church pew in some states, but you can find somebody on the internet, go to their apartment, get physically intimate, and share their bed. You’re not allowed to choose the former because it’s too risky, but the latter is left up to you at your own discretion.
The second principle Dr. Fauci endorsed is this: there are some things in life more important and necessary than avoiding all risks. The doctor thinks Tinder dates fall into that category, and though I disagree on that specific point, many of us agree that some activities are worth it. There are things we don’t want to give up indefinitely in the name of personal safety, and we should be able to associate with people who have come to the same conclusion. Other concerns have to be weighed, too, like paying bills, preserving mental health, seeing family members, etc. Doing some of those things might involve a health risk. But why can’t we calculate it for ourselves? Apparently that’s a luxury only afforded to people who need a date.
Yes, protect the vulnerable. Yes, take precautions. Yes, allow people the choice to stay in should they so choose or should they need to for health reasons. Yes, encourage hospitals and nursing homes to take extra precautions. But the minute dating app hookups got the thumbs up as a matter of personal choice should have been the minute mandatory lockdowns ended as a matter of principle.