COVID 19 has affected everyone’s lives in one way or another. It has been a major disruption to almost everyone on earth. Many have tragically died from it. Many have become sick and recovered. The government in the United States has responded by shutting down many parts of the economy and suspending civil rights in many cases. The inability to attend church services comes to mind.

The shutdown of the economy and restrictions of our freedom was done initially to “flatten the curve,” meaning not overwhelm the hospitals with more patients than they could handle. The Javitz center in NYC was turned into a hospital and a ship was sent to NYC in anticipation of a mass influx of patients. The center and the ship went virtually unused. As the virus continued to claim lives and infect others who would recover the “flatten the curve” turned into something else. Like stay safe, find a vaccine and other suggestions to guarantee our safety from this virus that originated in China.

The shutdowns caused our thriving economy to contract, and severely, and many millions of Americans lost their jobs. The side effects of losing income and jobs can be devastating. Like depression, suicide, loneliness, abuse, closing a business that has been around for years, losing opportunities. I myself had a job offer from United Airlines in March. That didn’t quite pan out the way I hoped. The point here is there were and are negative consequences from the shutdowns regardless of whether or not you think they were appropriate. The shutdowns gave local governments “temporary” power that was used to impose edicts on its localities ostensibly for the safety of the residents who live there. Many of the restrictions are still or at least in part in place. This is still having a negative effect on the economy and the people who are victims of the shutdown. Children who would be in school are also victims of the lock down. Yes, they are getting some instruction online but kids learn as well by being with each other and learning how to cope with problems that come up during the day when they are together. This opportunity is being denied. Not everyone is suffering from the lockdown. Some are doing better because of the shutdown. Amazon and Wal Mart are two big companies that are thriving as a result.

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The people who die from COVID are mostly older,

 65-75 and up, and/ or have co-morbidities which means other illnesses like diabetes, obesity, lupus, asthma, etc. The vast majority of younger and healthy people will recover from it if they contract it. Data suggests that the younger one is, the less likely they would be to suffer from it. Bottom line: the shutdown is affecting the economy and life as we knew it in a negative way.

We have an election coming up. President Trump is loved and hated by many. Most people have an opinion on him and it is usually one or the other. Many in the latter camp would do anything to see that he is not re-elected. That would include perpetuating many or all of the restrictions listed above to keep the economy stifled because they know that a weaker economy means the president has less chance of being re-elected. You don’t have to think that it is being done intentionally to realize that it is true.

Now, because of the virus and our safety, many states like NJ are going to use mail in voting for the first time. This means your vote is no longer anonymous. Someone will be able to see who you voted for. There is also going to be a chance that your ballot will get lost in the mail, duplicated, stolen, destroyed or manipulated. To argue that any of this is impossible is foolish. As a country we have had a system that has helped create a peaceful transfer of power when the system we use as a Constitutional Republic, the Electoral College, is implemented by voting at the polls so our votes are counted and are confidential.

The integrity of our election is in jeopardy because of the restrictions regarding COVID are in place and the new policies for voting while the overall risk of COVID for most people is much lower than we are being led to believe.