Last week the White House Coronavirus Task Force offered new estimates of the deaths that could result from the COVID-19 virus. That number was between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths. Some experts say that is a low number.
The task force says the numbers could have resulted in millions if the country had not issued orders for people to social distance and/or stay home.
This virus has become a nightmare for people all over the world, not just Americans. It has created a world-wide humanitarian crisis.
The total cases reported when this column was written was 1,288,409 worldwide and roughly 350,000 in the United States with 1,344 deaths on Saturday alone.
It is a horrible situation and appears things will get worse.
The administration has been holding daily task force briefings for over two weeks now. You can’t turn on the television without being bombarded with the latest tragic numbers.
Medical experts have been interviewed relentlessly and we have been presented death models and flow charts and predictions.
Approximately two weeks ago, President Trump asked us to practice social distancing and to avoid gatherings with over 10 people.
Which begs the question of how anyone could have missed the warnings issued by the federal government or medical experts on the task force?
Yet it appears some people in this country aren’t listening or can’t comprehend the seriousness of our situation.
The Governor of Georgia apparently slept through the White House task force briefings by admitting his ignorance of COVID-19 facts.
Last week, after issuing an executive order for his state, he said the reason for the action was because he just found out the virus could be spread by people who were asymptomatic. He called the revelation a “gamechanger” and said he only learned the information the day prior.
Talk about being asleep at the wheel.
If you have ever wondered if ignorance is contagious, here is proof. A state representative from Georgia was hospitalized with symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive. He was sent home to self-isolate but instead loaded up three carloads of his friends and went to his beach property in Florida.
And speaking of Florida. The governor of that state also forgot to self-educate on the virus.
He first refused to close the beaches and just advised the public to self-distance. And so, the spring breakers converged on the beach, bringing the virus with them.
Last week, he finally signed an executive order for residents to limit movements outside their homes.
He reportedly was waiting for the White House to recommend he do so.
When issuing the order, he said he had been taking his cues from the president. He said Trump’s demeanor concerning the virus has shifted, so he thought it was time to issue the order. I guess he didn’t hear the president say the states should make the decisions themselves.
It isn’t just government officials who don’t get it.
A Florida megachurch pastor was arrested after defying local orders about gatherings of more than 10 people. He held a church service with 500 people in attendance.
Lawyers from the local sheriff’s office and local government had pleaded with him to reconsider. He ignored them and even provided bus transportation for members.
He claimed the First Amendment protected him from having to follow the order. Amendments won’t matter to your dead self.
The sheriff said he was arrested because he showed reckless disregard for human life.
After his release from jail, the pastor announced he would cancel future in-person services. He said he was closing the church to protect his congregation not from the virus but from a “tyrannical government.”
Even certain businesses are trying to get creative with executive orders.
The craft store, Hobby Lobby decided to re-open stores in certain states that had stay-at-home orders for all non-essential businesses. They operate over 900 stores nationwide.
They had initially closed the stores but re-opened after deciding they were essential because they sell home-office supplies and school supplies.
Nice try, say authorities.
A Texas judge issued a cease and desist order to the corporation. He called the decision to re-open foolish and accused the company of putting profit over public health.
The company finally closed their stores over the weekend.
Gov. Ivy issued a state-wide stay-at-home order on Friday.
These orders are intended to limit peoples’ contact with each other in order to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
Not following those guidelines puts our community at risk.
Even though these are restrictive measures, staying home will save lives.
Maybe even our own.