With the number of Corona virus cases growing, I reluctantly ran a couple of errands in Victoria Monday morning, one to my doctor’s office for medical supplies and the other to the pharmacy for medications. At the doctor’s office, two of the five people I encountered in the lobby were without face covering. That’s 40 percent. Many are calling for you and your (not my) governor to loosen restrictions on movement and gathering. The rationale is “I don’t need government to tell me how to keep safe or tell me what to do.”
To those who believe this, I respond, “Yes. Yes, you do.”
Because the shelter in place and other restrictions aren’t just keeping you safe. It’s keeping me and others safe. It’s keeping your grandmother, who is vulnerable, safe. It’s keeping the cancer patient safe. Even your protests help spread the Covid-19. You’re like the drunk driver. Oh, you say, drunk driving isn’t contagious. No, but if you cause a multi-vehicle accident that harms others, you are contagious — just as is the Corona virus.
Even the incremental reduced restrictions will cause harm, just as a single drunk driver can do on a busy road. Cases will spike. More people will fall ill and some will die. Those unwilling to adhere to best practices are spitting in the face of science and that means you are spitting in the face of science.
As elected officials, you’ve taken an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. Part of the Preamble states government is established to, “… insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare … .”
I understand that one part of general welfare is that commerce is important. I am sympathetic and concerned for those suffering loss of jobs and income as the restrictions freeze some activities deemed non-essential. So, I get that you and your constituents are part of a community and that means we are interdependent for our economic welfare. But it’s hard to justify that economics and business is more important than people’s lives and that opening commerce could, in some cases, be a death penalty.
If you loosen the restrictions, I can assure you some of us will self-impose best practices for ourselves. But, the science of epidemiology tells us that’s not enough. You will place us at higher risk. I would have hoped you are better than that.