The plans to end shelter-in-place are stuck on one four letter word, "safe."

The problem is that many people want the word to stand for absolute safety when it can only stand for relative safety.

For instance, every day in America, approximately 1,800 people die from heart disease and 1,600 from cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every one of those deaths is a tragedy, yet few draw headlines.

I’m not going to argue for what should be accepted as relatively safe. Rather, my purpose here is to point out that we will not advance toward finding an acceptable level of safety until we dismiss ideas of absolute safety and start dealing with "safe" being a relative term.

Each of us must then be much more careful about how we consider "facts" in the media. For instance, a compelling story in the recent evening news tells about certain children being genetically predisposed to cardiac arrest upon contracting COVID-19. But there are similarly disposed children dying from ordinary flu viruses. In the same way. I did not want my brother to die from bacteria hiding in our yard’s soil, but I can’t insist that kids be prevented from playing in the dirt.

— Donald Woolery, Rockford