Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Texting with My Son

 

My oldest (20) is very suspicious of Dad’s opinions. After all, if you’re under 30 and not a liberal, yadda, yadda… I forwarded him an article written by a couple of his college professors (well worth your time): Mandatory social distancing: The greatest theft of all time.

Son: “Just by the first paragraph I can tell where they are politically. Describing it as theft is ridiculous, not allowing certain industries to reopen is theft. If you can have a business adapt to guidelines made by people who have devoted their lives to science, then you should reopen. Not allowing business to do so is theft. Social distancing should not be political but unfortunately has become political, along with wearing a mask? I understand people’s needs and desires to go back to normal but prioritizing ones “freedom” is not worth the death of a loved one. People don’t seem to understand that unless is happens to them which is unfortunate.

They did not once address the fact people are asymptomatic. which is why we are here in the first place. I’d like to argue not trying to prevent COVID amongst Americans is theft. People could be robbed of their life if contracted. Yet unlike money, you can’t get your life back. I don’t agree with that piece at all.

If a business can reopen safely they should do so. There’s no veering away from that. But just deciding to up and go out and resume life as normal without precautions is irresponsible to those around you in my opinion.”
Dad: “Good thoughts. 0.26% of people die from it. What are the true costs? By the way, I know you don’t like politics but when politicians make decisions impacting all of humanity then everything is political.”
Son: “I know the death risk is low. I’m well aware that if you or I contract the virus, we’ll probably still live to be 80+ that’s not the case for Mom, Mimi, and Grandma though. That’s where people need to acknowledge a number can’t symbolize an entire category of this disease. The whole ‘facts don’t care about your feelings’ saying I think is ridiculous. Human emotion is what makes people human. If you don’t have any empathy or sympathy and only regard to ‘the facts,’ you’re nothing more than a Google search engine that spits out numbers all the time.

“That being said, of course, it’s important to know the facts. But basing an entire nationwide way of living off a number, disregarding human thought, is not viable, especially to the many people who may not be able to come back from this virus.”

Dad: “Humans, all humans are flawed. Even our leaders and scientists. Science isn’t a fact. It’s ‘fact right now.’ Science is peer consensus and it changes literally every day. Always has and always will.

“To ask questions, to debate, and to keep an open mind isn’t anti-science, it’s a sign of intelligence. To blindly accept what people tell us without analysis is dangerous. A little common sense in our culture would be very helpful right now. My hope for you and Evan is that you question everything. Look at all sides. Not to accept a narrative because everyone else does. In many cases that narrative may be correct and in many cases, as we’ve seen throughout history, we’ve got it wrong.”

Son: “All true. But it’s important to keep in mind that it’s extremely easy to question what you oppose politically. It’s a valid statement to say I question conservatives consistently, probably as you question Democrats consistently. It should be applied across the board if that’s your argument. Call into question what scientists say. You’re an American you have the first amendment and have every right to voice your concerns with how the CDC and WHO approached this. But blatantly ignoring and disregard for advice to help your fellow man is different than ‘questioning.'”

Dad: “When I lived in England, I remember the scientists telling us we were 10 years away from a new ice age. The earth was cooling!!! People were freaking out. It was, after all, science!”

“When AIDS became the national health crisis I was Evan’s age. For a year, we were told you could get it from kissing and it may even be as easy to transfer as breathing the same air. People were petrified. In our high school, there was talk about postponing Prom. Kids didn’t go out on dates. There are countless other examples.

“I wear a facemask at the grocery store so I don’t make others uncomfortable who are freaked out over COVID. But breathing in your own Carbon Dioxide is deadly. I have a sore throat every time I do it. So, if I’m outside, there is no need.

“Not buying into the panic isn’t the same as ignoring there’s a virus that will kill some people and taking precautions. Washing hands, etc. But again, just 60 days ago the scientists told us a 3.5% casualty rate (that included social distancing). CDC quietly released the updated rates last week (0.26%) and the media ignored it. Why? Is there a larger force behind all this? If so, who stands to benefit from a devastated economy?

“Why, as states started to open up again, the hard Left (not the legit peaceful protestors) were already organized across the country to attack, vandalize, and loot businesses in dozens of cities? Who paid for, distributed, and placed pallets of bricks in over 30 cities overnight? You keep people locked up for 90 days, no income, no social life, no school, work, or travel, then you create a powder keg ready to blow. Not everyone has a comfortable home. Many live on top of each other in small spaces, with little money, food, and a lack of ways to entertain themselves. As soon as the horrific murder happened in MN, that lit the fuse. It could have been any number of other incidents.

“The older you get, the more you realize there are significant powerful interests out there, using groups, legitimate causes, genuine anger felt by decent people, and media like a marionette. I am not a conspiracy theorist. We landed on the moon, 9/11 wasn’t an inside job, and the earth is round. But to ignore what is happening right now, this election year, just like 1968 where we had riots and assassinations, is to ignore what we are seeing right in front of eyes.

“This year will be one historians will discuss for decades. You will talk about it with your kids and grandkids. It’s my opinion the global lockdowns will be viewed as the single largest mistake made in human history.”

I’m awaiting a response.

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  1. Hammer, The Member

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-virus/new-coronavirus-losing-potency-top-italian-doctor-says-idUSKBN2370OQ

    The problem with propaganda (and government action in general) is that it is usually several steps behind the actual reality. People have been lead to believe that this virus is something very different than what it actually is – such that if they can think of a person (and we all can) who even nominally fits into one of the “high risk” groups, they consider that person to be in mortal danger. But that is simply not true. As this virus winds down (and it really does appear to be winding down), we’ve managed to breed an almost debilitating fear into several generations worth of people, and that is a real problem. We are likely going to spend this entire fall and winter reenforcing that mindset as we fill school and college-age kids with absolute terror of a silent death that lurks around every corner. We will either end up with several generations of hypochondriacs and germaphobes (likely with weakened immune systems as a result, which will be a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy), or several generations of people who never see the predicted devastation and lose all trust for any sort of warnings whatsoever.

    • #1
    • June 2, 2020, at 1:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Thank you for letting us drop in your conversation, Dave. He sounds like a very smart and sincere kid (like his dad). Good for you–the patience and restraint you are showing. I wonder how many other parents who could normally deal fairly well with their Lefty kids are tearing their hair out right about now?

    • #2
    • June 2, 2020, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Hammer, The Member

    And – I think the most important lesson to teach children is how little they actually know. They are mind-bogglingly ignorant, and virtually none of them have any right to any opinions whatsoever. I know it sounds harsh – but good grief, I am a mere 12 years out of law school and thinking back to even then, when I was an adult, it is absolutely painful how little I knew about the world around me. The difference is that, during law school, that became increasingly obvious. I have always been a loudmouth with opinions – and I hope that now they are starting to take on a bit more humility (i.e. my strongest opinions revolve around the fact that we simply don’t know as much as we think we know), after decades of reading and basically every day learning a new lesson about my own ignorance.

    I think I would try to compile a big stack of books for my children to read – the ones most likely to encourage that sense of intellectual humility. But I know those things are easier said than done. There is really no way to force that, which is why pretty much the only thing you can do is hope that it develops with age, and try to plant the right seeds.

    • #3
    • June 2, 2020, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Vance Richards Inactive
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dave Sussman: If a business can reopen safely they should do so.

    Except, they are not allowed to.

    I saw some local businesses come up with their own safety policies before the governor shut them down in an across the board lockdown. The governor did not concern himself with whether they could do things safely. He just deemed certain things essential (booze, pot, abortion) and other things non-essential (religion, barbers, clothing stores). 

    • #4
    • June 2, 2020, at 1:24 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. PHCheese Member

    I have a 50 year old son with whom I have the same kind of discussions. His last plea was for me to back Joe Biden to help family harmony. Go figure.

    • #5
    • June 2, 2020, at 1:31 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Henry Racette Contributor

    Ah, youth!

    He sounds like a bright and thoughtful young man. I hope you treasure that. Politics is the small stuff.

    (My youngest is 20, also bright and good-hearted like your oldest. But she doesn’t text in paragraphs, complete with punctuation. There’s one more thing you can appreciate about yours. ;) )

    • #6
    • June 2, 2020, at 1:35 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. Flicker Coolidge

    Then maybe your son wants shutting down society to prevent the 40,000 annual flu deaths, too?

    • #7
    • June 2, 2020, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If we have to stay locked down or PEOPLE WILL DIE!!!!, ask him what the end-game is. How do we ever exit the lockdown? The virus isn’t going away, and there’s no guarantee we’ll ever have an effective vaccine. Are we supposed to spend the rest of our lives like this, or…?

     

    • #8
    • June 2, 2020, at 2:38 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Full Size Tabby Member

    Does Son acknowledge that the shutdown comes with its own deaths and massive human suffering?

    • #9
    • June 2, 2020, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Henry Racette Contributor

    I wrote a post recently containing an argument that I thought might work with at least some young idealists.

    Why End the Shutdown?

    • #10
    • June 2, 2020, at 2:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Dave Sussman: This year will be one historians will discuss for decades. You will talk about it with your kids and grandkids. It’s my opinion the global lockdowns will be viewed as the single largest mistake made in human history.”

    Each economist will have multiple opinions.

    • #11
    • June 2, 2020, at 2:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    As this virus winds down (and it really does appear to be winding down), we’ve managed to breed an almost debilitating fear into several generations worth of people, and that is a real problem.

    Agreed, and what happens when there isn’t a massive spike in 3-14 days after all the gatherings. Will anyone in the scientific community mea culpa?

    • #12
    • June 2, 2020, at 2:59 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    They are mind-bogglingly ignorant, and virtually none of them have any right to any opinions whatsoever. I know it sounds harsh

    I wouldn’t call them ignorant, but definitely have been fed a narrative they all seem to accept. My feeling is that they don’t know what they don’t know. I was a smarter idiot at 20, but still an idiot.

    • #13
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:00 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    I have a 50 year old son with whom I have the same kind of discussions. His last plea was for me to back Joe Biden to help family harmony. Go figure.

    Vote my way of the family will be split? How very AOC hostage like of him.

    (updated with actual quote)

    • #14
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    If we have to stay locked down or PEOPLE WILL DIE!!!!, ask him what the end-game is. How do we ever exit the lockdown? The virus isn’t going away, and there’s no guarantee we’ll ever have an effective vaccine. Are we supposed to spend the rest of our lives like this, or…?

    That’s a question none of them can or wants to answer. To do so will either show they don’t have any idea, or their ideas truly are to destroy the country, so hey can rebuild to their liking.

    (updated with quote)

    • #15
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:03 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I wrote a post recently containing an argument that I thought might work with at least some young idealists.

    Why End the Shutdown?

    Great piece Hank.

    I think the overarching motivation is winning 2020. Any issue is Trump’s fault. 3rd and 4th world consequences will be his fault. As long as it doesn’t impact Buckhead, Bel Air, or the Hamptons, they are happy to clutch pearls and preen about the poor.

    • #16
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    They are mind-bogglingly ignorant, and virtually none of them have any right to any opinions whatsoever. I know it sounds harsh

    That’s a question none of them can or wants to answer. To do so will either show they don’t have any idea, or their ideas truly are to destroy the country, so hey can rebuild to their liking.

    That’s not my quote.

     

    • #17
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:14 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    As this virus winds down (and it really does appear to be winding down), we’ve managed to breed an almost debilitating fear into several generations worth of people, and that is a real problem.

    Agreed, and what happens when there isn’t a massive spike in 3-14 days after all the gatherings. Will anyone in the scientific community mea culpa?

    This is a great point. If there are not massive Covid-19 spikes all over the country in the next 14-21 days, then that means the entire economic carnage of the last 3 months was completely unnecessary.

     

    • #18
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Randy Webster Member

    Dave Sussman: I understand people’s needs and desires to go back to normal but prioritizing ones “freedom” is not worth the death of a loved one.

    I wonder what the 460,000 who died in WWII and their families thought about that. What does your son think about it? Was freedom worth 460,000 dead?

    • #19
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    They are mind-bogglingly ignorant, and virtually none of them have any right to any opinions whatsoever. I know it sounds harsh

    That’s a question none of them can or wants to answer. To do so will either show they don’t have any idea, or their ideas truly are to destroy the country, so hey can rebuild to their liking.

    That’s not my quote.

     

    That was weird. Hopefully fixed. 

    • #20
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman: I understand people’s needs and desires to go back to normal but prioritizing ones “freedom” is not worth the death of a loved one.

    I wonder what the 460,000 who died in WWII and their families thought about that. What does your son think about it? Was freedom worth 460,000 dead?

    That’s a great comparison. No one wants their parent or loved one endangered, especially those with vulnerabilities as his Mother has. But no one wanted their loved ones to die in war either.

    • #21
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Hammer, The Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    They are mind-bogglingly ignorant, and virtually none of them have any right to any opinions whatsoever. I know it sounds harsh

    I wouldn’t call them ignorant, but definitely have been fed a narrative they all seem to accept. My feeling is that they don’t know what they don’t know. I was a smarter idiot at 20, but still an idiot.

    No, they are literally ignorant. They are smart, but they lack an abundance of knowledge, particularly historical knowledge. Our education system is awful. It teaches well-curated facts, but it doesn’t reach kids how to analyze information and how to actually think. They need to spend thousands of hours living life and hundreds of hours reading about humanity’s past experiences. 

     

    • #22
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Hammer, The Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    They are mind-bogglingly ignorant, and virtually none of them have any right to any opinions whatsoever. I know it sounds harsh

    That’s a question none of them can or wants to answer. To do so will either show they don’t have any idea, or their ideas truly are to destroy the country, so hey can rebuild to their liking.

    That’s not my quote.

     

    Don’t you kinda wish it was, though? 😉

    • #23
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:41 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    They are mind-bogglingly ignorant, and virtually none of them have any right to any opinions whatsoever. I know it sounds harsh

    That’s a question none of them can or wants to answer. To do so will either show they don’t have any idea, or their ideas truly are to destroy the country, so hey can rebuild to their liking.

    That’s not my quote.

     

    Don’t you kinda wish it was, though? 😉

    That made me laugh.

     

    • #24
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:42 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Weeping Member

    Dave Sussman – Son: They did not once address the fact people are asymptomatic. which is why we are here in the first place. I’d like to argue not trying to prevent COVID amongst Americans is theft. People could be robbed of their life if contracted. Yet unlike money you can’t get your life back. I don’t agree with that piece at all.

    Me: People are being robbed of their lives – literally – by being locked up and not allowed to return to work. Suicides and other mental problems are on the rise. Health screenings that aren’t being done will result in deaths that could have been avoided. Cancer treatments that have been halted will result in deaths that could have been avoided. Addictions that could have been avoided – both new ones and relapses – will result in deaths. Death exists on both sides of the equation.

    • #25
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:56 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  26. Randy Webster Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    But no one wanted their loved ones to die in war either.

    And the ones who died in the war were overwhelmingly young people with their lives ahead of them.

    • #26
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Thank you for letting us drop in your conversation, Dave. He sounds like a very smart and sincere kid (like his dad). Good for you–the patience and restraint you are showing. I wonder how many other parents who could normally deal fairly well with their Lefty kids are tearing their hair out right about now?

    Thank you Susan. The reason I shared this is that there is one common demographic in the scenes we are watching on our tv’s… they are all young. I see a vast majority of the protestors and rioters are teens and 20 somethings.

    So this is up to us. For those who have kids, we need to have communication with them. Respect their ability to figure it out, but don’t force them to. They will get it eventually, as we all did.

    Many conservatives will tell you they were liberal when they were young. Once they earn, become self-reliant, and especially when they have a family, priorities change. 

    I’m proud of him. He’s smart and has a good soul.

    • #27
    • June 2, 2020, at 4:08 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Thank you for letting us drop in your conversation, Dave. He sounds like a very smart and sincere kid (like his dad). Good for you–the patience and restraint you are showing. I wonder how many other parents who could normally deal fairly well with their Lefty kids are tearing their hair out right about now?

    Thank you Susan. The reason I shared this is that there is one common demographic in the scenes we are watching on our tv’s… they are all young. I see a vast majority of the protestors and rioters are teens and 20 somethings.

    So this is up to us. For those who have kids, we need to have communication with them. Respect their ability to figure it out, but don’t force them to. They will get it eventually, as we all did.

    Many conservatives will tell you they were liberal when they were young. Once they earn, become self-reliant, and especially when they have a family, priorities change.

    I’m proud of him. He’s smart and has a good soul.

    The fact that he is having conversations with you, in spite of the two of you not agreeing, is a very good sign. Keep up the good work!

    • #28
    • June 2, 2020, at 5:29 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A friend of mine runs a small storefront business. Because of the mandatory shutdown he is at serious risk of losing it. With almost no income he is begging creditors to give him time to pay, but with only limited success (and of course our benevolent government tax collection agencies do not care.) The nature of his business is such that there are never more than a couple customers in the shop at any time, so it would be extremely easy for everybody to wear masks and stay out of each others’ faces–and thus it would be a much safer environment that Target or Walmart. But the governor this type of business is “nonessential” and therefore my friend could spend a year in jail if he violated the closing order. He went on to tell me that he keeps in touch with other people in that business, and quite a few have closed for good.

    • #29
    • June 2, 2020, at 7:35 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  30. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Weeping (View Comment):
    People are being robbed of their lives – literally – by being locked up and not allowed to return to work.

    Lost businesses, lost jobs, lost incomes, lost savings. All these things shorten lives and increase sufffering.

    The people who enact policies, however, have no fear that they will miss a paycheck (or in the case of politicians, a payoff.)

    The kindest thing you can say about politicians is that most of them are unable to understand medical science and are chiefly worried about being blamed for coronavirus deaths. Deaths due to a harmed economy are not so dramatic and clear cut–and do not happen immediately–and therefore do not count.

    • #30
    • June 2, 2020, at 7:39 PM PDT
    • 3 likes