Writers of articles and letters published in Wednesday’s issue of The Argus-Press expressed broad objections to the governor’s most recent stay-at-home order. Opinions expressed by Michigan’s Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield question the legality of the order. Representatives from six Michigan districts write that, “If businesses fail to establish and enforce proper social distancing or if citizens’ actions begin to endanger each other, then the state could take additional well-defined action, but most people recognize the dangers of coronavirus and will act responsibly.”
Letter writer Sharon Dinkins states that social distancing is working to stop the spread of infection, that we can “trust people to do the right thing and trust businesses to know how to create the safest place for people social distancing.”
In a perfect world that would be true. Every shopper would maintain the recommended six feet of space from the person next in line and wear a mask to minimize person-to-person transmission. All businesses would create safe places by promoting distancing between employee and customer and by keeping surfaces sanitized.
But ours is clearly not a perfect world. While standing in a store’s check-out line today, observing the prescribed six feet of space between me and the customer ahead of me, I watched as that customer wiped her nose on her hand, rubbed her hand on her pants and then punched her code numbers into the card reader. When she left I asked the cashier for a wipe to sanitize the scanner and was told she didn’t have any. That of course means the check-out counter (while not a grocery store, the store sells some food items) was not wiped down between customers. Nor were wipes provided for sanitizing shopping carts.
No, we clearly cannot “trust all people to do the right thing,” and that’s why seemingly draconian rules are necessary. There is a reason that Michigan currently has 28,059 cases of coronavirus and 1,058 Michigan citizens have died from it. It’s not rocket science, folks.
Carole Stephens, Durand