By Alex Hinojosa Jr., Special to the Star
There is no cure for the flu.
Federal, state and local governments have never shut down the country and our cities/ communities due to the flu.
As per the CDC website, the flu is no. 8 on the “Top Ten Causes of Death in 2017 (USA).” In the USA, 55,672 died from the flu out of a total of 2,813,503 total deaths.
(See https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_09-508.pdf) The COVID-19 (Wuhan) Virus is not Ebola, which has an average of a 65% mortality rate for middle aged people.
The bottom line: We all take risks daily (when we drive to work, when we eat out, etc.) We have to live and support our families.
Local businesses support countless families. I myself (Hino Gas) support 22 families (employees), including single mothers, single fathers and all of the other employees’ families.
The same is true for every single business in Cameron County, South Texas and the nation.
State, county and city governments are destroying lives and livelihoods, the opposite of their mandate and what they were elected to do.
They did their job in protecting the population and their constituency over the last 30 days or so.
The COVID-19 virus has not been beaten but neither have cancer, flu, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases, yet all members of society go by their business daily.
It’s time for the state of Texas, Cameron County (all counties) and all RGV cities to open up for businesses today.
Practice social distancing for a period of time. The elderly and the “at risk” population can continue to “hunker down”, shelter in place and take extra precautions.
The rest of the population needs to get back to living, working, schooling/learning, and playing.
Every day and every week businesses stay closed, the economic damage may be irreparable for many people. Business owners may lose their businesses (some will, unfortunately) and many of our elected leaders’ local constituency will in turn lose their livelihoods.
Local governments are losing precious tax revenue as well.
It’s interesting how some businesses like grocery stores can be open but others cannot (churches/congregations which are not taxed and have no financial benefit to local governments were one of the first sectors governments closed).
For weeks now, doctors, the media and politicians bombard, implore and force us all to “shelter in place.” They implore all to not work, to keep businesses and schools closed, yet the politicians (federal at least), the mainstream media and doctors are all working and getting paid. Their revenue streams were never interrupted. They feel no financial pain, as opposed to the general public who they admonish to stay home and not work, causing them to suffer financially.
Look at it from a business perspective and not a bureaucratic one.
In order to be successful in business, we protect our employees, we protect our customers, we protect our equipment, and our property. We take safety precautions daily in every aspect of our work and business.
Same thing here, no different.
Life is a risk. Let’s start living again.
Take precautions but open our businesses and livelihoods up ASAP.
Alex Hinojosa, Jr. is president and CEO of Hino Gas Sales, Inc. in Harlingen.