We hear a lot of new buzz words and hashtags these days. #FlattenTheCurve, stop the spread, social distancing. The bottom line is that New Jersey government failed its citizens. Badly.

Gov. Phil Murphy panicked and is now running around like a delusional fool saying that he’s "fighting World War II.” Meanwhile, you are out of work, trying to teach your kids at home and being told you can’t leave your home for fear of being arrested. It has to stop. Now.

We missed our chance to truly "control" the spread of the coronavirus. South Korea did an outstanding job by comparison. From the end of February to the middle of March, they tested thousands, isolated pockets of the virus, quarantined the sick and in about three weeks #FlattenedTheCurve. All without shutting down their economy. As a matter of fact, infectious disease doc Kim Woo-Joo was the one who stood up and said that a shutdown was not appropriate in a democratic republic.

Amid these dire trends, South Korea has emerged as a sign of hope and a model to emulate. The country of 50 million appears to have greatly slowed its epidemic; it reported only 74 new cases today, down from 909 at its peak on 29 February. And it has done so without locking down entire cities or taking some of the other authoritarian measures that helped China bring its epidemic under control. “South Korea is a democratic republic, we feel a lockdown is not a reasonable choice,” says Kim Woo-Joo, an infectious disease specialist at Korea University. South Korea’s success may hold lessons for other countries—and also a warning: Even after driving case numbers down, the country is braced for a resurgence. - Dennis Normile from sciencemag.org

Here’s the takeaway. Test and quarantine the sick and protect the vulnerable. In NJ, use the testing centers to implement that strategy. Clear people to go back to work and reopen the economy. I am hopeful that President Donald Trump will push for this at the end of his declared 15-day "pause," which ends next Tuesday.

On my New Jersey 101.5 morning show Tuesday, we heard from an economic expert who is calling for an end to the economic shutdown. Chris Markowski, who founded Markowski Investments in 1995 and is known as the “Watchdog on Wall Street,” joined me to discuss his comments about opening up the economic engine ASAP. Here’s his pull quote:

We need to end this responsibly. Quarantine at-risk individuals and get back to work or we won’t have an economy. Depression, total collapse, this is not just airlines, hotels and restaurants. Think about orthopedic surgeon offices that have 30-40 employees that can no longer do surgeries. You cannot shut down ‘non-essential’ services without hurting essentials. - Chris Markowski

He went on to say that in a capitalist economy every job is essential. Non-essential businesses don’t survive. Hear the full interview:

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Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.

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