Viewpoints: Bringing sanity to reopening the U.S. economy and businesses safely

Last updated on May 21st, 2020 at 05:09 pm

To business, governmental and thought leaders:

We all know the old refrain, “Don’t let the cure kill the patient.”

But unfortunately, this is precisely what has been happening in America, to its workers and its businesses.

Here’s a fact you will never see in the media but is based on facts released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Over 1.4 million Americans tested positive for COVID-19, and 94% of them recovered just fine, and many did not know they even had it!

As of Tuesday, there were 1,453,098 known cases of COVID-19 in the US and 81,135 deaths. That represents a 6% chance of dying from what is much like the flu.

And, according to the CDC, known cases underestimates the number of people who have actually had it, but didn’t know they had, and are therefore immune.

At the very least, it means that 94% of all Americans who get this will recover just fine. I know, I was hospitalized for two weeks with COVID-19!

You will likely never hear this in the media, but unless you are 70 years or older or have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, heart hypertension, cancer, etc. you have almost a 0% chance of ever dying of COVID-19.

If you’re not in that risk demographic, you have a far greater chance of dying in a car accident than of COVID-19!

Yet thanks to the political leaders, that includes both Democratic and Republican governors throughout the United States, most Americans have been locked up, even though those who actually get COVID-19, not in the at-risk demographic, will only experience mild symptoms as they did if they had the flu.

So there’s a simple solution to reopening the U.S. economy and its businesses: require that all Americans age 70 or above and those with pre-existing conditions stay quarantined in their homes until this virus passes.

Here are some other guidelines we should follow to reopen the economy:

  • Governors can then reopen their economies; recognize that the caseloads will go up, but the mortality rate and those needing hospitalizations will drop like a rock as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions stay put in their homes.
  • The same guidelines can be used in reopening businesses, recognizing that many people will get COVID-19 and experience typical flu-like conditions with no risk of death.
  • Please make clear that those fitting the at-risk demographics are warned not to enter your place of business, whether as an employee or visitor, as they do so at the of dying from the disease. That moves the responsibility for their health to their shoulders where it should be.
  • Naturally, you will want to comply with the common-sense requirements of the local authorities regarding personal protective gear or social distancing. But the most important thing you can do is take everyone’s temperature every day. I was tested negative for COVID-19 while in the hospital only to find out well after discharge, but I had a high level of COVID-19 anti-bodies.

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Dan Steininger is the president and founder of BizStarts. He is also the president of Steininger & Associates. The firm focuses on teaching the tools of innovation to drive growth for companies in all sectors of the economy. Steininger is a former president and CEO of Catholic Financial Life and a graduate of Marquette University and Boston University's School of Law.