Monday, April 20, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Her Inane Lockdown

Michigan Governor Whitmer and the Inanities of the Lockdown. Michigan Governor Whitmer leads the list of clueless governors on the lockdown. Most governors have locked down their states in the Coronavirus pandemic. The devil is in the details. Each governor can decide what constitutes an essential or non-essential activity. Michigan is hard hit by the virus with the third largest number of cases, half in Wayne County (Detroit) and 7/8 in Southeast Michigan. The media portrays Governor Whitmer as bold, decisive, and strong. She’s none of the above. Her decisions show an elitist bias unrelated to safety. Her distinctions are inexplicable. That’s why Michigan residents, the Trump supporters, are protesting. Motor boats are banned. Fishing off a motor boat is verboten. Canoes and kayaks are OK even if the seating capacity of two is the same. Travel by car is banned, except for critical purposes, which are travel to an essential job, groceries, medicine, and care for a loved one. Permissible exercise is walking, running, hiking and cycling, but you can’t go to a bike shop and you must exercise social spacing. Residents of the Detroit Metropolitan area therefore cannot escape to their isolated second homes in Northern Michigan, nor to a hunting lodge, nor to a house across the state. Nor can they invite others into their house. No public or private gatherings outside a house, and then not even there. The following establishments can remain open: liquor stores, pot shops, and lottery kiosks – they are a revenue source for the state. Garden centers are closed. No gardening in the solitude of one’s abode. Nor can one buy paint for a DIY at home with all this free time. Elective surgery, such as hips, knees, and non-emergency cardiac, are forbidden, but abortions are permitted. The Governor also forbids retailers selling essentials, such as food, from selling non-essentials, such as clothes, gardening supplies and furniture. The seemingly arbitrary nature of her classes of essential versus non-essentially genders opposition. She has explained her decisions: “We’ve got to be very smart about the actions we take now to protect life as well as the actions we take to reignite the economy. “And I know that the vast majority of Michiganders understand that not going to the gas station to fill up your boat … is a sacrifice, but it’s one that worth it. “But who among us wouldn’t rather forego jet-skiing on a boat right now to save your grandparent or neighbor’s life, and that’s exactly the tradeoff in this moment.” The sentiments are appealing, but the constraints don’t match the rhetoric. Rather you motor boat, canoe or kayak, you have to go to the gas station to fill up to get to the recreational site. The Governor’s sense of the pandemic emergency is suspect. She waited until 23 minutes after the Democratic Primary closed to declare the state of emergency.

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