June 14, 2024

For a very long time, most of the choices we’ve had to make are between what’s good and what’s better. Should I get an iPhone 11 or a Samsung Galaxy S20? Should I get a Chick-fil-A sandwich or a Popeye’s chicken sandwich? Should I get Netflix or Disney Plus? We have all been living the life of ease and comfort and don’t know what it means to make truly hard choices. But it has all now changed.

We are now entering a period where the choices are between what’s bad or what’s worse. Politicians are asking, “Should we quarantine everybody and prevent the deaths of millions of people or should we let the economy crash?” Health officials are asking, “Should we tell people to wear masks and risk a panic since there are no masks or should we not say anything and risk more people contracting coronavirus?” The Fed is asking, “Should we flood the economy with massive amounts of cash and risk hyperinflation or should there be a systemic financial collapse?” Companies are asking, “Should we burn through cash or not pay rent and lay people off?” Amazon workers are asking, “Should I go to work and risk getting covid-19 or should I stay home and not get paid?” Triage nurses are asking, “Who gets to have treatment and who has to go home?” Doctors are asking, “Between these two people, who should get the ventilator?” Navy Captain Crozier asked, “Should I disobey orders and give up my military career or should I save the lives of the crew from a coronavirus outbreak?” Migrant workers are asking, “Should I obey the government and stay at home or should I go work so I can feed my family?” Work at home employees are asking, “How are we able to take care of the kids at home and also work?” Laid off people are asking, “Should I go to the food bank that has 100 people waiting in line or the food bank that has 120 people waiting in line?”

Before, there was really no bad choice we can make, every choice was relatively easy and it didn’t really matter which one we chose. Now, there will be no good choice that we can make, every choice will be a difficult one.

Judging by how long we’ve lived the life of easy choices, it’s not likely the period of having to make hard choices will be short.