The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has become a worldwide disaster.
In Alabama, all businesses are impacted, schools are closed for the academic year and life is in disarray.
Friday, Governor Kay Ivey inched closer to the inevitable but, for whatever reason, didn’t quite get there.
She held a so-called “press conference” in which she read a statement, took pre-screened questions and then answered them by reading responses off of a piece of paper.
This isn’t reassuring.
No more than 10 can gather in one place and most businesses can’t be open to the public under these rules.
What is the purpose of this step-by-step piecemeal approach? We have seen a slow trickle of new rules put out every day.
There shouldn’t be public gatherings at all at this point — just stay home.
If you need something, go get it and then go back home.
Bars are still serving drinks in certain “entertainment districts,” with people still congregating outside these establishments. People are still visiting with each other and playing basketball in public parks.
Most are taking this pandemic seriously, but more need to.
The force of a statewide “shelter-in-place” order will drive that home.
Penalties for violations (equivalent to misdemeanors) will help.
Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and others have already issued local orders going further than the state. That’s fine, but it will not be enough for Alabama as a whole.
Ultimately, everyone agrees that this is crushing small and big businesses alike, which is why President Donald Trump wants the economy opened up as soon as possible. The best way to make that happen is to expedite a decline in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. That number will spike as more testing is done and results are revealed.
Businesses want to stay open as long as they can, which is understandable — but they are getting crushed anyway, and dragging this out won’t help them. Rather, it is only delaying the inevitable.
We need to take our medicine, stomp our feet and get better.
If we shelter-in-place, the number of new confirmed cases will drop faster, and life can go back to normal quicker.
President Trump’s guidelines focus on local success; we don’t need New York to fix itself to go back to work in Alabama.
Dragging this out will not make businesses in the Yellowhammer State open up faster, it will actually prolong this ridiculousness.
We need this over as soon as possible.
Bipartisan leaders in the state agree.
Alabama’s House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels:
Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth:
A review of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic shows that aggressive “non-pharmaceutical intervention” didn’t hurt the economy of communities that implemented them more than communities that didn’t. In fact, they recovered better afterwards.
What is Governor Ivey waiting for?
We currently have 580+ cases of coronavirus and four deaths. Is there a magic number that would trigger a broader order?
Can she tell us what that magic number is?
Three thousand cases? A hundred deaths?
This will get worse before it gets better.
We need to get it better faster. We need leadership, not delay tactics and hand-wringing.
The is incredibly simple. Governor Kay Ivey will issue a shelter-in-place order at some point in the near future. She might as well do it now and help us get this over with.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.