My friend, Colonel (ret) Mary V. Perry, was the defense counsel in a court martial I tried at Howard AB, Panama in the late 1980s (we were both captains at the time). In her closing argument, trying to get the jury to reject some portion of my recommended sentence because there was no evidence for my argument that it would deter others from engaging in the same conduct, she told the joke about a guy seeing another guy standing on a corner in the middle of downtown, snapping his fingers and looking around. First guy says to second guy, "Waddya doin', bud?"
Second guy: "Keeping the elephants away"
First guy: "Elephants?! There aren't any elephants within 1000 miles of here!"
Second guy: "See? It's working!"
Well, it didn't work for Mary Perry's client (as I recall, he got the Big Chicken Dinner and reduction to Airman Basic, but she managed to kick my rear a couple of other times).
Why do I bring this up thirty-something years later? Well, I'm not sure it's a great analogy, but part of me thinks all the hoopla and hullabaloo over the past couple of days about local, state and national declarations of emergency, prohibiting large meetings, etc. to combat the COVID-19 pandemic might involve some finger-snapping. If this thing fizzles out, how will we know it wouldn't have anyway? Are these things reasonable precautions or wild overreactions? And why does San Antonio allow up to 500 people - FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE - to gather when Houston limits it to 250 people? This is the sort of inconsistency that makes me suspicious that the people in charge are, at some level, just makin' stuff up as they go. All that said, I'm happy I'm not in charge. Take it seriously, wash your hands, cough into your elbow, wipe the doorknob, don't hang around with sick people. And for goodness' sake, save some toilet paper for the next person.
Musings, observations, the occasional whineage and some funny stuff.