Evangelical financial guru Dave Ramsey is committed to keeping his company, Ramsey Solutions, open for business no matter what.
After all, no one else is half as qualified to bring us dubious wealth-building advice (just do what rich people do!) and utterly nonsensical math equations (don’t forget to multiply by God!) — exactly what we need in these troubled times.
So even though one of his staffers tested positive for COVID-19, Ramsey is keeping his Nashville office open, and he expects his workers to continue to show up as long as they’re not showing symptoms.
He calls this “acting out of wisdom.”
In an e-mail leaked to the Nashville Scene, he spares a handful of thoughts and prayers for the sick woman before getting to the meat of how he plans to keep the company running during the pandemic:
First off, this sucks for her, just pray for her and her family. This will pass, it just sucks to be the first one like this and be called out by name, sorry [name redacted], we love you.
Second, the whole office was deep cleaned over the weekend to the CDC standards before we found this out. We are also going to deep clean her area again up to the CDC standards.
As far as everything else goes . . .
We know the big gatherings are being discouraged but we are not shutting the company down. For this week we will cancel Staff and Devo though. There will be low attendance anyway due to spring break. We will look at a broadcast option for next week if we think it’s necessary.
By next week, of course, it will be too late. As of Thursday, 154 Tennessee residents were known or reasonably presumed to have COVID-19, a marked increase in identified cases overnight. Of these cases, 75 come from the county where Ramsey Solutions is located.
While Ramsey tells his employees to “stay home and don’t bring your germs” if they’re feeling unwell, the evidence has begun to suggest that the spread of the virus is being driven by people who aren’t showing any symptoms of being ill.
Lest anyone accuse Ramsey of being totally heartless, he goes out of his way to assure his workers that he’s flexible, at least for people with “valid reasons” to want to avoid spreading a potentially deadly virus:
Work with your leader on a 1:1 basis if you feel you have valid reasons to stay home (newborn baby, elderly living with you, recently out of the country, etc.) And I know kids being out of school is throwing a wrench in a lot of things. Work with your leader and spouse and make a good plan that works for everybody.
To Ramsey, of course, the only valid reasons for wanting to stay home involve having someone in your immediate family circle who is at risk of dying if they contract COVID-19. The idea of acting to protect anybody more distant than one’s own household — the idea that even total strangers are worth protecting — just doesn’t register with the sort of man who thinks poor people deserve to be poor because they don’t listen to audio books on their commute.
As for people who’ve recently been out of the country, does Ramsey really not understand that such people are in isolation because they’re at risk of having been exposed to the virus while traveling? Everyone in the office has already been exposed!
Ramsey concludes with some words about “common sense” and a vague appeal to patriotic heroism:
Please keep your wits about you. Stay calm. Exhibit faith. You are ok. Ramsey is ok. We will continue to balance wisdom, common sense, against valid measures taken equal to a valid threat. No more no less.
People in the country are looking for hope and sanity. We will give it to them.
Sorry, Mr. Ramsey, but the only thing you’re giving to the people of the country is a higher risk of coronavirus.
(Screenshot via YouTube)