Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that reopening the economy too soon without meeting appropriate checkpoints, without ensuring capacity to handle spikes in infection, could be risky.

Well, duh. Tell us something we don’t know.

While you’re at it, Dr. Fauci, why don’t you tell us what the odds are that Sweden and South Dakota had it right to treat their people like intelligent adults and we royally screwed up by unnecessarily imprisoning our populace, putting millions out of work and costing the economy trillions?

If you’re honest, Dr. Fauci, you’d say you don’t know. Because you don’t know.

Lest we forget that Coronavirus was just another bug, like the flu. Until it wasn’t. Face masks were not recommended. Until they were. The death rate was 3 to 5 percent. Until it was 10x lower.

We were ordered to stay at home and shudder our companies, supposedly to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system. And here we are, still shut down. Unnecessarily? Who knows?

Since when is it up to the government — federal, state, municipal, whatever — to tell American citizens which risks are okay to take, especially risks based on studies and data that change day by day?

Granted, there are laws designed to keep us safe. But at least in the past, consideration was given to protecting our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Seat belts and speed limits did not infringe on those rights. The lockdown is a whole different story.

By their own admission, the doctors — the experts — have used models to make decisions that turned out to be wrong. Decisions that wreaked havoc on our most basic and precious constitutional rights. Ask the scientists if those decisions made us safer. If they’re honest, they’ll say they don’t know. Because they don’t know.

That’s really messed up. And it needs to stop.

Look at it this way.

Leaving England to found a new nation across the ocean was risky.

Going west was risky.

Fighting Nazi Germany was risky.

Driving cars to work is risky.

Kids playing in the street is risky.

Eating junk food is risky.

Binging on booze is risky.

I could go on but you get the point. All through our adult lives we make decisions that are not black and white — decisions based on multiple variables and tradeoffs with lots of unknowns. That’s life. And freedom is neither cheap nor without risk.

It turns out that lots of risky behavior is preventable, but not all. And even if all risky behavior were preventable, not everyone would make the same decisions to play it safe. That’s the beauty of American life. We get to make that call.

What isn’t preventable, at least not today, is a world without Covid-19. What isn’t preventable is that people will continue to die from it. Another thing that isn’t preventable is the personal depression and economic depression that will surely result if we continue this shutdown any longer.

Yes, it’s now a little riskier than it used to be to go to work and pay the bills or go to school and learn. It’s now a little riskier than it used to be to go out and have some fun. The politicians are going to have to trust the American people to follow some basic rules, just like with seat-belts and speed limits.

That will have to be good enough. That’s a fair tradeoff any sane, intelligent person who understands the value of freedom and prosperity — the value of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — would be willing to make. Because that’s life — the American way of life.

And we the people never should have allowed the suspension of those rights in the first place.

Image credit NIAID / Flickr