Oh, boy, the replies on social media to the latest ADVISORY from the Allegheny County Health Department are, shall we say, rich.
The hue and cry misses the obvious: THIS IS IN ADVISORY.
Let’s look at some excerpts from that advisory.
Allegheny County residents are asked to stay at home to stop social gatherings.
“Allegheny County residents are asked.” They’re not ordered. They’re asked.
Residents are advised to only leave home to go to work or school, for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, getting food, or the like
“Residents are advised.” They’re not ordered.
Nope, we’re not done yet.
Additionally, residents are strongly encouraged to:
a.Not have guests in their homes unless they are essential workers (e.g., home healthcare providers, childcare workers or educators).
b.Cancel traditional Thanksgiving celebrations and celebrate virtually with non-household members.
c.Avoid unnecessary travel.
d.Limit social event gatherings.
“Additionally, residents are strongly encouraged.” Again, not required.
The ridiculous ideas that (and I’m quoting from presumably real people responding on Twitter) that “big brother” is “dictating” what people can do leaves only one conclusion: People aren’t carefully reading.
And then there are the “well, you’re allowing people into Heinz Field” replies. Let’s remember that the best medical and scientific information currently available tells us outdoor activities — with people wearing masks and adhering to social distancing — need not be curtailed. If that guidance is retracted, then, sure, fans watching the Steelers or Pitt inside Heinz Field would be a really bad idea.
Come on, folks, think. Understand what the county’s health department is asking of us. No paramilitary or other police force is going to bash down your front door if you have visitors at your house.
It’s simply best if you don’t host people who don’t live with you.
Think of more than just yourself. Think of your neighbors, co-workers and others who might be spared the hell of coronavirus if you accept the advice of the people who seek nothing more than to keep us safe.
From Katha Pollitt of the Nation:
Trump has turned us into a nation of braying bullies and conspiracy theorists and mean people proud of their indifference to the suffering of others. Maybe that’s what too many Americans always were, but they kept it under wraps for fear of social disapproval.