Normally, by this time each year, Michigan is on the move. People are gardening, golfers are swinging, and cottage people are sprucing up their places Up North. Preparing for the sunny summer weekends to come. That is, until this year. If you’ve been following the national media, you’ve probably noticed our Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has been getting a lot of press lately. Initially, it was because she was being considered as a possible running mate for Joe Biden. However, lately it’s been because she’s developed a bit of a Mussolini Complex.
Our state was the first to protest excessive lockdown measures. The Guv has become a little drunk with power. She reminds me of Dolores Umbridge, after she took over as Headmaster at Hogwarts. Every day we are informed of new measures being put in place to “keep us safe”. You can almost hear Filch hammering those edicts into the walls of the capitol building. Many of these orders didn’t make any sense. You couldn’t buy any seeds, you couldn’t mow your lawn, you couldn’t go out on a lake in your boat, etc.
We began to wonder what was coming next. No more animal sacrifices, mowing the lawn naked, or streaming episodes of Tiger King? I know I’m being silly here, but I’m trying to illustrate a point. Michigan’s lockdown order has been one of the longest in the country. Now, it’s been extended for another month, until the end of May. The small businesses in this state have already taken a massive hit, and this could be a death knell for many of them.
I know many of my fellow ‘ganders will say, “This is all for our safety.” That argument has been used in the past, and it never ends well. Just ask any Native American or Japanese American. I’m not unreasonable. My wife and I have hunkered down since the original order came out on March 23rd. When presented with the argument that “Flattening the curve saves lives”, of course we will do whatever we can.
However, the big question remains, When will it end? What if there’s a spike over the summer? Will another lockdown order be issued until fall, when the second wave is due to hit? Causing yet another lockdown? A grand re-opening, in stages, is the only hope we have of keeping the country from falling into a massive depression.
Granted, there will always be knuckleheads who flaunt the rules. And there will be spikes as a result. However, this country cannot survive a complete shutdown of up to 18 months (recommended by the WHO). The USA would cease to exist by that point. Americans have kept it together so far, but we’re getting a little stir crazy. If food and paper product shortages continue, it could get ugly, FAST.
If we take our Governor at her word, she is doing all of this to keep us safe. However, what if that results in the loss of thousands of small businesses? Or, an unemployment rate of 20% or more? How safe are we going to feel then? Hopefully, the Governor and her advisers are finding safe ways to open up Michigan again. Then we can truly get back to being The GREAT Lake State!
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