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Close the Damned Bars

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Who could have predicted that opening up bars in college towns would be an abject disaster except everybody with the slightest familiarity with the scientific evidence?

All it took was one packed bar. An infected patron. And a wild party afterward.

This is the toxic combination that has led to a new wave of COVID-19 cases in the Grosse Pointe community, where at least 30 new cases in recent days have been tied to an outbreak at a popular East Lansing bar almost 100 miles away.

Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub saw shoulder-to-shoulder crowds after reopening earlier this month, including some college students from the affluent Grosse Pointes who unknowingly got infected and brought the virus back home. According to multiple families that  are now in quarantine, one of those students who visited Harper’s came into contact with a friend who held a huge house party in Grosse Pointe Woods, where dozens of friends partied without masks and social distancing, they said.

One of the rationalizations used to justify these policy blunders is to point out that COVID is rarely fatal for younger people. The obvious problems with this are 1)”rarely” isn’t “never”; 2)COVID has many bad health effects even among survivors; and 3)infected young people can spread the disease to more vulnerable populations. This isn’t to say that I place the primary blame on these kids. Opening up bars just makes this inevitable and is grossly irresponsible. There’s just no way it can be done safely before the virus is crushed. AS Lili Loofbourow puts it, “[t]he pandemic isn’t over, but a lot of people seem to be trying to brute-force a reality that isn’t amenable to brute-force solutions.”

This is just one example of what has become a disaster, led by failures at the top. This is a really good and comprehensive article about how the American public sacrificed enormously and were betrayed by their public officials.

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