Instead of reopening society for the sake of the economy, what if we continued to work less, buy less, make less—for the sake of the planet?

At the end of March, Donald Trump tweeted, in all capital letters, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.”

He was referring to the economic ramifications of shutting down the country in order to protect the public from the novel coronavirus, which has now killed over 100,000 Americans.

Many Republican lawmakers have echoed the need to reopen businesses and get people back to work. In March, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said on Fox News that the economy must be salvaged, even if it meant that older people would “take a chance” with their lives to do so.

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