I am 82-plus years old, with two heart defects, making me exceptionally vulnerable to death should I get COVID-19. The ideal for me, of course, would be community lockdowns until a vaccine is found. But that can’t be what is best for society. Last month 21 million Americans lost their jobs to lockdowns. The month before that nine million became unemployed. America is being destroyed financially. I can only imagine the intense financial and emotional devastation of those millions of people.

We need to get the country working again. Of course, when human contact increases, so too will the spread of the coronavirus. Still, individuals in large measure can take precautions, even in the workplace. And people over 65, the most vulnerable to the bug, can take special precautions. The reason we see so many young people attending, say, a rodeo or public beaches in California is that they likely view themselves as nearly invincible, having only a 1 or 2 percent risk of death should they be infected.

We are now living in a country where governors have seemingly become despots—benevolent despots, but despots nonetheless. And these good people have run their states inconsistently.