Are You Staying Home?

An Editorial by John Brewer

Governor John Bel Edwards and numerous local officials across the state are urging residents to stay off the streets and avoid gatherings.  Only necessary travel is exempt from the Governor’s Executive Order to stay home.  Eliminating contact between individuals will stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Edwards said, “I am extending the order to at least April 30th.  The proclamation on that will be due by the end of the week.”  Edwards said he acted “because there is no evidence that we are flattening the curve.”  Flattening the curve is government-speak for slowing the rate of spread of the virus.

The Journal asks everyone are you complying?  Are you only traveling when it is necessary?  Governor Edwards said we aren’t taking this virus seriously.  Similar language came from President Donald Trump and a plethora of federal, and state officials.

Law enforcement departments in nearby Shreveport are telling the public that they are considering enforcing the executive order.  Should there be more strict policing of the Governor’s order right here in Red River Parish?

Many commercial activities are exempt.  Essential businesses can stay open.  And it seems the general public would rather interpret the meaning of what is essential rather liberally.

Are only the truly essential places in town remaining open?  And should some police agency have to enforce the Governor’s orders?

Look around our town.  There are many vehicles on the streets every day.  Perhaps not as many as two months ago, however it seems that there are still plenty of people moving and mixing and potentially exposing each other to the COVID-19.

I will be first to say some of my travels could be saved for later.  I travel to gather the news, but usually stay in my vehicle.  I go to the store, but did I really have to go for screws for a home project on Monday?  I am going to do a better job of policing my own activities.

Here are my suggestions, which I will try to adhere to:

Save up trips to the grocery store, gas station, post office, etc. and make fewer trips.  Make a list, get more items, but do it less often.  And if the parking lot is full, wait until another time.  I will patronize local stores and restaurants but go to the drive-thru or use take-out after calling ahead.  I will try to cut down on personal contact and maintain the six foot distance when I encounter someone.

Governor Edwards again today repeated his appeal to the public to obey the letter and spirit of the executive order.  Is that enough?  Or are we going to be forced to stay home and are businesses going to be forced to close?  I guess it is up to each of us, not just the other guy.

Readers may comment on this editorial at  Your comments may be published in a subsequent issue.  Responsible responses will be accepted and considered if submitted along with your name and contact information.

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