Today three states announced they are closing all public, and some states included private, schools for a minimum of two weeks. In the last 24-hours, the NBA, NHL, and NCAA games were canceled. Baseball has postponed its season opening. Private companies, and some government entities, are having employees telework.
This is all well and good, and I commend these leaders making the tough decisions for the good of the commons. However, the new social distancing won’t really work to its potential if each city, each school district, and each state don’t work together to shut things down to minimize the spread of this virus, which appears to be 10 times more powerful than the common flu.
Governors—Democrat, Republican or Independent—need to be on the same page for our national crisis. There is no reason, other than fear, to not act in concert to ensure fewer people get sick, ensure fewer people die.
Those governors who are dragging their heels and waiting to see what happens need to stop passing the buck to city mayors or local school superintendents, and stand up to make the hard decisions, the right decisions, and take the heat they were elected to take.
If everyone doesn’t act in concert, with one county closing schools but the county next door doesn’t, for example, then the closed district is still at risk when they reopen because their neighbors didn’t do the right thing. This creates a viscous cycle of continuing to spread the disease back and forth because a governor didn’t make all schools close to protect all citizens.
The same goes for large events, such as cheer or sports competitions, school debate competitions, mock United Nations, and any other event where people come from far and wide to attend.
Will this cost a state tax revenue? Yes it will. But if thousands die due to lack of a moral compass as money should not dictate decisions of public health, then those deaths are on the governors who didn’t act to protect its people.
Any decision will have those who love or hate the decision. Always have, always will! That does not mean a decision to protect us all from a pandemic disease by shutting things down. It is all the more reason to make the moral decision…close down events and schools, mandate teleworking for all employees, public and private, who are able to telework, to do so until further notice, then begin developing a plan to help pick-up the pieces when the crisis passes, as all crises eventually do.
Governors, step up, step out, take the steps and leave a legacy of saving lives rather than costing lives.