A few months ago, I was proofreading over a grant application that someone had written, and I remember commenting “Don’t tell me. Show me. Give me some local facts and figures that support this.”
In regards to Gov. Andy Beshear’s latest executive orders regarding COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants, bars, indoor gatherings, and so forth, I would offer some similar advice. If you want buy in from the public, give us some state data from all of the contract tracing that has been done that shows us these shutdowns actually target where the bulk of our latest cases are coming from.
Beshear’s lockdown orders ban indoor dining and drinking at restaurants and bars until Dec. 14, limit occupancy rates at gyms to 33 percent, limits event venues, funerals and theaters to no more than 25 people per room, and orders all schools to close to in-person instruction starting Nov. 23. Elementary schools can resume in-person instruction starting Dec. 7 if their county isn’t in the red zone. For starters, Gov. Beshear show us the data that says COVID-19 spread is being linked to our local restaurants and bars. Show us the data that says which restaurants and bars outbreaks are being linked to. Show us the data in regards to whether these establishments, which outbreaks are linked to, are following the guidelines already in place.
We have some restaurants and bars that have gone out of their way and at significant expense to abide by the rules.
We also have some restaurants and bars that are half-heartedly enforcing COVID-19 restrictions at best, and there is absolutely nothing being done to penalize these establishments, which are gaining a big advantage over their competitors by not following the rules. If large COVID-19 outbreaks are being linked to our restaurants and bars that are following the rules, then OK. Let’s do a shutdown of all the bars and restaurants for a while to help contain this.
If COVID-19 outbreaks are being linked to primarily establishments flaunting the rules, then something needs to be done to reign in the rule breakers instead of punishing everyone.
There are some other things in the governor’s latest executive orders that I simply have to disagree with, such as limiting movie theaters to 25 people per room. For our movie theaters, this is just adding insult to injury.
For starters, the film studios aren’t releasing hardly any new movies now as it is. As a result, nearly every movie theater is struggling to just to get people in the doors. Some big theater chains are even just shutting down period until after the first of the year.
As long as social distancing is in place, our movie theaters should be allowed to get as many people inside these very large rooms as they can, which isn’t a heck of a lot even without restrictions.
I also don’t know that the case has been made for not allowing in-person learning in schools.
There is no playbook for how to deal with a worldwide pandemic. I think our leaders, including Beshear, are doing the best that they can to keep the public safe, and are largely doing what they think is right.
Beshear is correct that something has to be done in regards to COVID-19 cases, which are growing exponentially with 3,825 new cases diagnosed on last Friday alone.
The question is what.
Please support our local restaurants during this difficult time by picking up carryout and drive-thru. In an effort to help our local restaurants, the News Journal has published a list of restaurants that are remaining open during this shutdown, and operating through either carryout, curbside, delivery or outdoor dining. The list is also available on this website and is not located behind the paywall. We are doing what we can to support our local businesses.
Before I conclude, let me add that we probably wouldn’t be having this surge of cases and these shutdowns if more people would just wear a doggone mask. Hint! Hint!