No one wants anyone to die from Covid-19. No one wants to mock someone for denying that it’s real, calling it bullshit, and then contracting it and then dying from it. Karma does not need to be encouraged; it will exact its own toll.
In March, John McDaniel called Ohio’s shutdown order of non-essential businesses “madness.” A few days ago he died.
Now, we don’t know the circumstances of how Mr. McDaniel contracted the virus, nor do we know if he took foolish and unnecessary risks. But we do know what he thought of the measures put in place to keep him and the rest of the public as safe as possible. And we all know people who have similar opinions to those that McDaniel expressed on social media. If there’s any good to come from his death, let it be that people take those measures more seriously. They’re there for a reason.
In certain states that have governors of a certain political party — and are unnaturally sycophantic towards a certain president — they are sorely tempting karma to do its thing.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s move Monday to lift restrictions on a wide range of businesses, one of the most aggressive moves yet to reignite commercial activity in the midst the coronavirus pandemic, put his state at the center of a deepening national battle over whether Americans are ready to risk exacerbating the public health crisis to revive the shattered economy.
The announcement from Kemp (R), who was among the last of the nation’s governors to impose a statewide stay-at-home directive, caused blowback from public health experts, who said the state did not yet meet the criteria issued by the White House, and set up a potential confrontation with the mayor of Atlanta and leaders from other cities advising residents to stay at home.
Kemp, a first-term governor, said he would allow gyms, barber shops, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys, among other businesses, to reopen on Friday, though they would be required to follow social distancing guidelines and screen their employees for signs of fever and respiratory illness. He said theaters and dine-in restaurants would be permitted to resume activity on April 27. Meanwhile, a statewide shelter-in-place order expires at the end of the month.
The only other state pursuing as swift a strategy is South Carolina, where a range of retail stores were allowed to reopen Monday. The Republican governor, Henry McMaster, also lifted the state’s controls on beaches but left decisions about whether to reopen them to local officials.
The decisions in those two Southern states came as scattered protests across the country have targeted governors’ stay-at-home orders, encouraged in some places by President Trump, who has chafed at the social distancing guidelines issued by his own administration.
Epidemiologists say restrictions on economic activity and public assembly, combined with ramped-up testing and aggressive contact tracing to identify other potentially infected people, are necessary to contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 42,000 Americans. Many governors, including some Republicans, have heeded that advice, holding out against protesters who have descended on state capitol buildings to decry the emergency orders.
The problem isn’t just that these people are risking their lives for political or economic gain. If they were the only ones in danger, then the risk is theirs alone. But this virus is highly contagious, and like second-hand smoke in an elevator, it endangers those who are trying to avoid getting sick and passing it along to others, and worse, endangering the lives of those who are trying to stop the spread.