We must evaluate costs as well as benefits in reopening

Posted: Jul. 8, 2020 3:50 pm

To The Herald-Whig:

"We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself" has been the lodestar for reopening our economy. Let's be clear that there are costs associated with not reopening the economy. However, as we enjoy the summer months, we must not forget there are also significant costs associated with reopening. For example, the U.S. now has the daily global record of more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases for the coronavirus pandemic.

Good decision-making is ultimately about evaluating costs and benefits -- not just the benefits, and not just the costs. We, as a nation, are at two divergent roads -- do we continue shutting down the economy, as some experts have suggested, or do we reopen the economy, as other experts have suggested?

In this moment, we must look to ourselves to weigh the costs and the benefits associated with which path we, as a nation and individuals, should take. Perhaps we could start with a question posed by Luke, the physician, in Luke 14:28: "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?"

John C. Schafer

Hannibal, Mo.