The surprisingly simple way to open America in 14 days and avoid a depression

Published May 5, 2020


COVID-19 transmits primarily through the air by droplets. Stop the droplets and you stop the transmission. The incubation period is 14 days. If everyone wore a mask, even just a simple cloth mask, the virus would cease to be transmitted in two weeks.

We wouldn’t have to wait for a vaccine or a cure. We all could go back to work.

When we have:

I. A President screaming, in all capital letters: “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” while simultaneously criticizing Georgia for opening too soon . . .

II. And when the same President who formerly declared that the virus was “under control,” and will disappear “like a miracle,” but now claims the death toll could reach 100,000, while scientists estimate up to 174,000 . . .

III. And when experts predict a vaccine might become available by mid-2021, which would be in record time,

IV. And when no one knows whether a vaccine is even possible — ever — because vaccines don’t work against some viruses . . .

V. And when millions of people refuse vaccination for themselves and their children . . .

VI. And when we have the Majority Leader of the Senate dragging his feet about future economic stimuli to prevent a depression . . .

VII. And when many people believe we will charge right through recession into a full-blown depression . . .

. . . Perhaps we need a new plan to stave off disaster — something faster, cheaper, more accepted, and with longer-term anti-viral benefits.

So here is one: While the world’s scientists labor to find ways of killing or disabling the virus, or energizing the human immune system to fight the virus, or preventing the damage the virus does in the body, perhaps the real solution lies in preventing the transmission of the virus.

The real solution is to prevent transmission of the virus.

According to the Harvard Medical School Corona Virus Resource Center, “The time from exposure to symptom onset (known as the incubation period) is thought to be three to 14 days, though symptoms typically appear within four or five days after exposure.

“A person with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 to 72 hours before starting to experience symptoms. Emerging research suggests that people may actually be most likely to spread the virus to others during the 48 hours before they start to experience symptoms.”

Unfortunately, the quarantine method has powerful, economic disadvantages, causing some to declare, “The cure is worse than the disease.”

But there is another way to prevent transmission.mask fashion statement.png


Droplets. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets with the virus fly into the air from their nose or mouth.

Anyone who is within 6 feet of that person can breathe those droplets into their lungs.

Airborne transmission. Research shows that the virus can live in the air for up to 3 hours. When you breathe air that has the virus floating in it, it gets into your lungs.

Surface transmission. Another way to catch the new coronavirus is when you touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on. You may touch a countertop or doorknob that’s contaminated and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.

The virus can live on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for 2 to 3 days. To stop it, clean and disinfect all counters, knobs, and other surfaces you and your family touch several times a day.

View image on Twitter
The next fashion: Designer masks.

The least expensive, easiest to use, most immediately effective way to prevent virus transmission is face masks. Better than social distancing. Faster than waiting for a cure or a vaccination.

The incubation period for COVID-19 is up to 14 days.

COVID-19 would end in 2 weeks if everyone wore a face mask .



COVID-19 would end in 2 weeks if everyone wore a face mask.

Face masks, even those that are not the gold standard N-95s, can prevent the virus from circulating through the air.

Face masks also would help prevent the virus from landing on surfaces. The virus does not live long on human skin, so an infected person merely touching a surface would have only a transient effect. It’s the coughing, sneezing, and breathing that transmits the virus to surfaces upon which it can live a long time.

The N-95s protect the wearer and those nearby. The “lesser” masks offer less protection for the wearer, but still are effective in protecting those nearby.

If everyone would wear a mask whenever outside their own home, the transmission line of the virus would largely be cut, and even being in large crowds would be much safer.

In a sense, face masks have a similar effect as “herd immunity” whereby not everyone is protected, but enough people are protected so that the virus loses its ability to find victims.

Universal mask usage would cause a quasi “herd immunity” effect.

People should:

  1. Be required by law to wear masks in public, and
  2. Be able to acquire masks, easily and inexpensively.

The federal government should fund the mighty manufacturing capability of the United States to:

–Produce trillions of masks that meet medically approved standards (Even cheap, cloth mask would help prevent the broadcast of droplets.)
–Distribute the masks free or at negligible cost, and pay every food, drug, clothing and other retail stores, and online retailers for inclusion in all shipments, plus airlines, busses and other transportation methods.
–Create kiosks in busy areas for free distribution

Masks and Gloves

Based on what we know now, this all could be done faster and perhaps even more effectively than the creation and distribution and use of a vaccine, that might or might not be effective for any given length of time, or adopted by enough people.

Wearing a mask could become the life-giving, fashion statement of 2020.

Wearing a mask would be patriotic (for the right wingers),  and it would help the poor (for the left wingers), and it would have a minimal cost (for the debt hawks) and be far less inconvenient and intrusive (for the libertarians and the ultra-religious).

You even could attend a movie wearing a mask (for those suffering from island fever).

When enough people do it, social pressures will compel the rest. Not wearing a mask would be akin to defecating on the sidewalk — bad manners in the worst possible way.

Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. If you do, we can open the country.

COVID-19 would end in 2 weeks if everyone wore a face mask.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Cough Germs
Your mask protects them from your droplets and also protects you from their droplets. When each person wears a mask, protection doubles.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mask-up.png



The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


9 thoughts on “The surprisingly simple way to open America in 14 days and avoid a depression

  1. I largely agree with you, Rodger. Of course, there are some practical difficulties that require some exceptions here and there (eating, drinking, swimming, etc.), since I am assuming this policy will last for more than a few weeks at least.

    So how would I refine it further? In my neck of the woods, New York’s recent executive order, for example, requires masks to be worn in all public places (and only public places) where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained, and on all public transit regardless. And all employers are required to provide them to employees, who are in turn required to wear them at work.

    And there are still no penalties for individuals yet that I know of, but most people (myself included) seem to be following the new rules pretty well. I personally believe that if there must be any penalties, it should just be a ticket offense with, a modest fine (say $100) and nothing counterproductive like arrest (which compromises social distancing), jail (which is too often virus-infested) or criminal record (which lingers far longer than the virus). That’s fair.

    All of the benefits and none of the drawbacks, basically, and should theoretically take the wind out of the sails of both the virus as well as the lockdowns. Open up, wear a mask. Problem solved.

    But unfortunately, that has not yet resulted in New York opening up yet (hopefully soon though). Nor are masks yet being given out for free everywhere yet (outside of the fraction of workplaces that are “essential” and are still open), let alone kiosks, which they certainly should do. Yesterday.

    Indeed, in Japan they apparently were wearing masks before it was cool (due to flu season as well as allergies which tend to be rough over there) and they seem to have been able to avoid a hard lockdown, only very recently introducing what they call a “soft lockdown” that does not even carry the force of law.


    1. Email received, today.

      “I bought one small box of five N95s for my family back in January (I had a feeling when I saw China) and thus. We have one mask each. We look after them. I think they are a big help.

      “Chris Jones, Chief Tribune theater critic/Sunday arts columnist
      Chicago Tribune”


      1. You would have been better off if you had bought a big box of cheap surgical masks. N95 masks actually are better for your family, but worse for everyone with whom they come in contact. That’s why doctors and nurses wear surgical masks. And N95 are too expensive to replace often enough, and washing masks frequently simply does not happen.


  2. This is what our federal government should be doing:

    350,000 free masks for Chicagoans

    With Illinois’ new requirements to wear face masks in public, nonprofit Masks4Chi aims to distribute 350,000 free, reusable cloth masks throughout Chicago.
    The nonprofit’s goal is to raise awareness about mask use in an effort to help flatten the coronavirus curve. Last week, Masks4Chi started the first stage of distribution with 25,000 masks.
    The organization was started by Anand Sheth, owner of Mon Ami Jewelry and Mon Ami Realty , after a conversation with a friend, cardiologist Dr. Saumil Oza, who had started a similar organization in Jacksonville, Florida, Masks4Jax. Sheth shared the idea with his team members, Emily Jodlowski and Stephanie Garcia Ochoa, who supported it.

    350,000 sounds like a lot, but it’s a drop in the bucket for Chicago. And as for the U.S., perhaps 30 billion or more are needed. But the federal government is run by incompetents.


  3. Fauci made a mistake in March practically joking about wearing a mask here: But this biggest mistake was not following your 3rd step to Prosperity. We wouldn’t need mile long lines at food pantries if everyone received a loadable debit card with enough $$ to purchase food.


  4. From TheWeek Magazine, 5/31/2020:

    How effective are masks?
    Though different studies reach varying statistical conclusions, the overwhelming consensus is that they help stem transmission.

    Jeremy Howard, an Australian data scientist who created the website, has identified 34 papers showing their effectiveness, and none that show otherwise.

    Researchers from the National Institutes of Health performed a video experiment that offered a stark visual rendering of how masks work. They used laser light to illuminate the shower of droplets emitted when someone speaks and demonstrated how nearly all of them were blocked by a mask.

    A team of scientists and academics from Europe and California recently built a computer simulation demonstrating that if 80 percent of the population wore masks, infection rates would plunge by more than 90 percent.

    That finding lines up with remarkably low infection rates in Asian countries where mask wearing is near-universal, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, each of which has had fewer than 10 deaths despite high population density.

    “The countries that flattened the curve used masks in public,” Dutch disease expert Chris Kenyon told the BBC.
    Widespread mask-wearing could prevent COVID-19 second waves: study



    Better late than never, I guess.

    Study finds homemade cloth masks help block coronavirus 7/2/20


    CDC Director Robert Redfield: If Everyone Wore a Mask for Next 6 Weeks We Could Drive Pandemic ‘Into the Ground’


  5. Well, four months too late isn’t bad, or is it? Still waiting for Trump.

    If everyone wore a mask, Covid-19 could be brought under control, CDC director urges
    By SHARON BEGLEY @sxbegle JULY 14, 2020

    Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “If we could get everybody to wear a mask right now, I really think in the next four, six, eight weeks, we could bring this epidemic under control.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s