Instituting simple rules could save lives

Opinion: Letters to the editor

July 21st, 2020 2:11 PM

The head of the CDC, Dr. Redfield, recently stated that if everyone would wear a mask in public places indoors and when 6-feet distancing is not possible outdoors, we could get this pandemic under control. 

Since the president will not enforce any orders even close to this uncomplicated rule, the governors should bypass the federal government and show some backbone.

Many governors have already done this. Gov. Newsome, of California, actually admitted to reopening indoor spaces too soon (bars especially) backtracked on his own orders and closed them down. 

Gov. Pritzker, of Illinois, may do the same. Gov. Cuomo, of New York, showed us all how it can be done. States should fine anyone without a mask $500. They need to close businesses that do not enforce this and fine them as well. 

This income could help supplement the lack of sales, property and income taxes that all states are experiencing. Monitors could be hired from those who lost their jobs recently to write tickets to folks who do not comply.

These changes should be implemented today. Then, at the end of August, school boards could meet and assess the numbers. School districts that are trying to open early to mid-August are racing against the clock. 

Mask ordinances and indoor closures need time to work. Schools could open safely (after precautions are put in place) by mid-September if the virus is under control. Time could be made up during that first semester by cutting all of the breaks that occur in the fall.

Simple steps, universally followed, is the only way to get COVID under control. We tried state-by-state rules, county-by-county rules, even municipality-by-municipality rules. This approach has failed. Look at the numbers in the states that tried these approaches.

If we had as many dead soldiers in a four-month war as we have COVID victims today, wouldn't we reassess the situation? We need to ignore our president and get all governors on board with these simple rules. It is not that complicated.

Jan Goldberg


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