If you don’t know about Greg Gutfeld’s “prison of two ideas,” you’re really missing out on something big. No, seriously.

While the notion that the world is not black and white but shades of gray is certainly not new, Gutfeld did come up with a cool name and always does a masterful job of demonstrating the concept’s almost ubiquitous relevance in our everyday lives. Especially when it comes to politics and media.

The Covid-19 crisis presents a perfect example of the dilemma.

If you end the quarantine and restart the economy too soon you risk a relapse of the pandemic that extends the crisis. If, on the other hand, you take the economic shutdown too far, you can plunge the nation and perhaps the world into a deep recession or even depression.   

Of course, that’s a false dilemma. You can restart the economy and lift the restrictions in phases, using technology, testing and a little common sense to bring workers, companies and industries back on-line as soon as it’s safe and makes sense to do so, not sooner.

There’s no shortage of proposals, and different regions are at different stages with respect to the virus, so it should be up to individual states, municipalities, industries and companies to choose the methodology that makes sense for them.

All I know is, we can’t keep this shutdown up much longer without doing lasting damage to the economy that could make it very difficult to pull out in a reasonable timeframe. And that could kill more people than the epidemic.

As many have said — including me what seems like eons ago — the cure can’t be worse than the disease.

Here’s an analogy for you. Any pilot knows why takeoffs and landings are so tenuous. When you’re up high and your engine stalls you point the nose down, pick up speed and restart the engine. When you’re close to the ground you simply don’t have room or time to execute that before crashing.

Our economy is similar. If we take it too close to the ground, recovery will be impossible. Simply put, it will crash. How that occurs is complicated but trust me, it will be a real mess that we’ll all wish we’d avoided at all cost.

Next time you hear political types raving about how ending the stay in place orders too soon will cost lives to benefit Wall Street, remember that there’s a smarter way to go about this than the fearmongers and political activists would have you believe.

Also, last time I checked, millions of Americans would really like their jobs back. I do think that will start to happen in May, if not sooner for some. With the right protocols in place, we can do this.

Image credit Szoki Adams / Flickr