With the Covid-19 pandemic reaching new heights across Arkansas, especially NW Arkansas and Carroll County, my question for the Governor, State Representatives, Mayors and City Council Persons is, What Is Your Number? At what point will you feel compelled to make face masks/coverings mandatory in shared public places?
How many of your fellow citizens, neighbors, friends and family have to catch this terrible virus, and possibly die, before you pass a mandate, or at least support it?
Let’s take Carroll County, whereas of today we have 136 cumulative cases and 4 deaths. We will probably have 200 cases by the end of the week, and maybe 300 by July 4, and then 500 by Labor Day? At what Number do you take action? And remember when you do take action, the cases won’t stop growing for at least a month past that point.
Merchants who don’t require masks, what is your Number before you require your customers to wear a mask to enter your store or place of business? Yes, I know that is a touchy subject, you are afraid to lose a sale you desperately need after being shut down earlier this year, or just don’t want a hassle from those who do not want to comply. The Mask requirement is a lot easier when everyone does it or has to because it is the law.
What is the Number your workers have in mind? Many will work past that point because they need a paycheck rents to pay, kids to feed.
What Number do tourist have in mind, at which point they will choose not to come here. Many are avoiding places like us already, and at some point the ones coming here won’t want to come here anymore.
A final thought, it’s possible that when we reach the Governor’s Number, or it is given to him by citizens, we could see another shutdown. Some businesses did not survive the last shutdown, and a lot more won’t survive the next one. If this indeed happens, I’m not counting on government bailouts like last time… maybe a one-time $1200 (that does not go far, maybe a month?), no extra unemployment, no PPP, no PUA, no SBA grants… we are largely going to be on our own.
So, everyone, what is your Number? The only tool we have available to control this pandemic is the Mask! Wear It! Mandate It! We either wear the Mask, or a lot more people get sick and/or we shut down again.
It’s an easy choice if you think in those terms. It’s in our hands now, completely up to us. If you have a better idea on how to control this pandemic without hundreds, thousands, and millions of your neighbors and loved ones getting sick and dying, I’m all ears.