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Coronavirus Mandatory Social Distancing Needed ASAP

 

“With great power comes great responsibility.” This famous quote has been popularized in modern times by Spider-Man and contains an important truth that should be heeded.

With their belated and insufficient actions to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Idaho’s governor and many of its mayors, county commissioners, and school board members are refusing to responsibly use their powers. Each of these government leaders has great power granted to them to respond to public health crises, but many of Idaho’s leaders are refusing to use the emergency powers vested in them to keep Idahoans safe from the coronavirus. 

The United States is currently (as of March 18, 2020) behind other countries like Italy, France, and Spain in the spread of the coronavirus, but our government leaders have their heads stuck in the sand and are refusing to take the actions NOW that Italy, France, and Spain wish in hindsight that they would have taken earlier themselves.

The Surgeon General of the United States, Jerome Adams, said on March 16th that the United States could soon be overwhelmed by the coronavirus just like Italy. The Surgeon General said without equivocation, “When you look at the projections, there’s every chance that we could be Italy.” But some school districts in Idaho still haven’t closed schools, and Governor Little on March 18th was still issuing toothless “recommendations” to not gather in groups of more than 10 and to not eat inside restaurants rather than making these and similar social distancing measures mandatory.

Idaho has two choices: enforce mandatory social distancing measures now (which would hurt the economy), or enforce mandatory social distancing measures later, which could cause the needless deaths of hundreds of Idahoans (and which would still hurt the economy just as much or even more).

Many of Idaho’s government leaders, starting with Governor Little first and foremost, are choking when faced with making hard decisions to protect Idahoans from the coronavirus. Hopefully Governor Little reverses course soon before the damage from delaying the inevitable multiplies exponentially.

 

 
Travis Oler for Idaho, Idaho State House 31B
 
 
 
 
 
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