“While the data shows we are making progress, we are not out of the woods, yet,” Gov. Whitmer said when she again extended Michigan’s lock down – this time from May 28 to June 12. But when asked at her May 13 press conference what data formula would allow reopening, she could only reply with “it depends, it depends.”
It’s crystal clear to the hardworking taxpayers of Michigan that the governor is proceeding with the “Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Moe” method of making decisions. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to what is allowed and what isn’t. There’s no relief in sight for those who are in danger of losing their businesses or homes.
I’m a nurse, so I understand what it means to stay healthy and safe. I agreed with and voted in support of the initial stay home order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Hospitals and providers needed that time to acquire more tests, more ventilators and more PPE for this highly contagious virus.
The initial shut down was important. It was necessary, even if it was uncomfortable and confusing. But we have now moved from practical and cautious to overzealous and absurd. When viewing the actions as a whole, there is no consistent or logical pattern to the big picture.
One question that remains unanswered is: Why can big box stores remain open, but not small stores? Social distancing can be practiced in small shops the same way it can in large retail stores. Where is the logic in believing that staying six feet apart and wearing a mask in a facility that can hold hundreds at a time is safer than wearing a mask and staying six feet apart in a small store that holds a few people at a time? Logically, masks and distance work for both scenarios.
Why are dentist offices allowed to open, but not hair and nail salons or barber shops? The governor seems to believe that it is safe for a gloved and masked hygienist to be inches away from someone’s open and unmasked mouth, but not for a masked and gloved stylist to snip hair on someone also wearing a mask.
Why are marihuana, lottery and liquor considered essential? Why is staying in one’s own vacation home allowed, but renting a vacation home is not? Why is public land open for day use while camping is prohibited?
Why is her latest lockdown called Safer at Home? It’s certainly not safe for the victims of domestic violence cases, which have increased by approximately 40 percent since the stay home order was put in place. It’s not safe for the at-risk population in nursing homes, who suddenly find themselves living in a COVID-positive world. It’s not safe for the child abuse victims who, without the watchful eye of school personnel, friends and family, are without help. It’s not safe for the elderly who live alone, the mentally ill, the depressed, or those who suffer from PTSD.
The first 30 days of this lockdown made sense, but the list of places and activities deemed safe or unsafe since then have been drafted in an illogical manner.
Michiganders are smart, and we care about keeping our loved ones safe. We have learned the rules of social distancing. It’s time to be logical. It’s time to open up in a consistent manner. It’s time to allow Michigan to open for business and let people live their lives to the fullest.