RALEIGH – While much of the established order focuses on how to keep the state and nation shutdown out of fear of COVID-19 spread, a select few are questioning the social and economic costs of such policies and encouraging a conversation about how we get back to some semblance of normal.
Republican lieutenant governor, and 2020 candidate for governor, Dan Forest, was one to warn against the unintended consequences of the shutdown policies early. For this, he was lambasted as an unwelcome disruption damaging public health by questioning the process and implications of authoritarian executive orders. Of course, Forest was absolutely correct; the shutdown policies have led to the largest hit to our economy, livelihoods, and society in living memory.
In a radio interview late last week, Forest acknowledged the many pitfalls of such policies, not least of which is a suppression of basic core liberties. He says we have local governments ‘literally picking and choosing [who to restrict] based on their own ideology.’ and the need to start talking about how we get back to normal.
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If we don’t start having this conversation now, how long will these policies, and their unwelcome effects, linger? Probably a lot longer than the coronavirus threat warrants.