In recent weeks, our nation has seen a wide variety of reactions to the coronavirus pandemic. Some have jumped to drastic conclusions spouting death rates through the roof and demanding communist-style mandates be put in place. And yet, at the other end of the spectrum, others are determined to live their lives as they always have, feeling invincible and in complete control of their actions.
According to what we hear and see from the media, you are either one or the other, just as you are either Democrat or Republican. But the truth is that most of us are something in between.
We know the virus is real, as is the threat of infection. However, as Americans, we see the value of freedom and our constitutional rights. And we aren’t about to have those rights trampled on just because someone is spouting off numbers that may or may not be accurate.
But finding the balance between the two in government seems to be a problem in many areas.
Take the state of Michigan, for example. Here, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, once she finally got on board with taking precautions, jumped in head over heels. She shutdown not only non-essential businesses but also garden shops, home improvement stores, and even forbid traveling to your own vacation home.
And her state has taken offense, protesting outside her office on numerous occasions.
In Florida, on the other hand, Governor Ron DeSantis was given much grief about not shutting his state down immediately. But he didn’t really need to. And the case numbers there prove it.
Unlike Whitmer, he gave the decision to stay home to the people. And they chose to do so of their own volition, weeks before he gave an actual order. As a result, his state case numbers are far below what was predicted for the popular vacation destination.
But not only that, his citizens don’t hate him for imposing draconian measures. They aren’t protesting in the streets to go back to work and for businesses to reopen.
And it seems the governor of Ohio has learned from the two differing scenarios.
Governor Mike DeWine, like many state leaders, did, in fact, implement a stay at home early on, which most of his citizens respected. But then he ordered that everyone would be required to wear masks when going to any stores. And it didn’t take too long for him to decide that was a move in the wrong direction.
He even admitted it on national television.
On Sunday, the governor told ABC’s This Week, “It became clear to me that that was just a bridge too far. People were not going to accept the government telling them what to do.”
I have to admit; he definitely has a point.
In the beginning, lockdown orders were pretty much necessary. Not only to ‘flatten the curve’ but also to let people realize the genuine threat that the virus actually is. And most, while not loving it, quickly came to terms with the need for such measures.
However, those days have since past. As I said before, we now know the threat and are consciously taking precautions. Social distancing and even wearing a mask in public is extremely useful in preventing the spread. Most Americans, if given a chance, will show basic acts of consideration towards others.
And as our nation starts to see a break in cases and deaths, our leaders need to realize that we, the people, can be trusted to make our own safety decisions. Just as in Florida, people will self-quarantine, social distance, and hunker down when we see the threat getting larger.
We don’t need some government official telling us what needs to be done. And as Michigan has proved, we won’t take kindly to that, especially when we already know what needs to be done.
Imposing new and drastic rules only make government officials look like they are trying to flex their muscles, while at the same time treating the people they represent like children. As Governor DeWine has proved, letting the people make decisions for themselves is a win-win.
The government was put in place to lead when the people cannot, to handle the big stuff beyond our reach. But as of right now, adhering to social distancing guidelines, masks or not, is in our grasp. And DeWine understands that. Using a heavy-hand at this point will only make things worse.