Republican governors that had previously held the line against imposing statewide shelter-in-place measures to combat coronavirus are now falling in line, ordering state residents to remain in their homes except for “essential” activities.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued an order taking effect Monday that prohibits Missourians from going out of their homes except for work, food, or medical care. Schools have been ordered to close and restaurants may only stay open if they offer takeout. A ban on gatherings of more than 10 people enacted March 21 remains in force.
Missouri’s order is somewhat more lenient with regard to “non-essential” businesses than other states, allowing them to stay open if they abide by social-distancing requirements, such as limiting the number of people on their premises.
“Individuals may also go to and from an individual’s place of worship, provided that limitations on social gatherings and social distancing are properly adhered to,” the order reads.
“There comes a time when we have to make major sacrifices in our lives. Many of us make sacrifices each and every day, but now more than ever, we must all make sacrifices,” the governor said in a news conference.
For weeks, Parson had resisted pressure to implement a statewide isolation order, allowing localities to make their own decisions based on their particular circumstances. Many areas, such as most of St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia, were already under local stay-at-home orders.
“This power is something I think should be rare for government to ever take advantage of,” Parson said of his decision. “For the sake of all Missourians, be smart, be responsible, and follow this order. Stay at home, Missouri.”
State Democrats criticized Parson’s order as being too weak. House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said the directive is so riddled with exemptions that it differs little from a previous order that leaned more on voluntary self-isolation.
“Families, businesses and health care workers across the state were counting on the Governor to do the right thing, but by including these broad exemptions he seems to get it wrong,” argued State Senator Lauren Arthur of Kansas City.
And State Representative Greg Razer said letting non-essential businesses remain open “sends the signal to people that it’s still OK to go out and carry on with your everyday routines.”
Missouri was joined over the weekend by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, who announced that the Yellowhammer State’s shelter-in-place order would be in effect until April 30, with a decision to be made public before that date about whether the restrictions will continue beyond that.
“We all have a duty to take this seriously,” Ivey wrote on Twitter. “Wash your hands frequently, disinfect commonly used items often & practice social distancing.”
Ivey predicted Alabama would see a rise in coronavirus-related deaths in the coming days.
“Folks, April stands to be very tough, and potentially very deadly,” she said. “You need to understand we are past urging people to stay at home. It is now the law.” As of Monday morning, Alabama has seen 45 deaths attributed to the virus, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.
Responding to criticism from those who argue she should have enacted a stay-at-home order earlier, Ivey maintained she “tried to find the right balance, something that was measured without overreacting that looked after people’s health without choking out the life from commerce.”
Over the weekend, the phrase “Eight Republican” was trending on Twitter in reference to the eight Republican governors who have still not put their states under stay-at-home orders: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming.
A multitude of Twitter users, many of whom do not live in those states, reacted to the hashtag with outrage that these governors refuse to take away the rights of their people, claiming the failure to control the populace will cause more deaths and prevent the “flattening of the curve.”
Ivey contended her decision to ultimately give in was based on Alabamans’ failure to abide by social-distancing guidelines.
“Also EMA metrics that they got from the cell phone data, and it shows people are not paying attention to the orders we’ve asked them to abide by,” she said.
The fact that governments are using cellphone data to monitor our movement should be worrisome enough to freedom lovers. But just as troubling is Ivey’s belief — one now manifested by elected officials throughout America — that we only deserve to keep our rights and freedoms so long as we act in the way the politicians want.
Image: Willowpix/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.