Tuesday, March 17, 2020

COV5D-19 (part 2)

Last night Governor DeWine (Ohio-R) announced that he was going to postpone the primary elections that are scheduled for today. He did this based on the continuing advice of the head of the Ohio Health Department and the people that have been guiding his actions during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ohio has gotten praise, at least what I have seen, for its aggressive actions to fight the spread of the virus. The governor closed schools last week. He closed bars and restaurants yesterday. He's done all that he can to tell people to stay apart, to socially distance, to ride out this initial period to lessen the impact on the health care system.

All of that makes sense.

And YET . . . I'm very disappointed that his actions last night strikes right at the heart of our democracy when we so desperately need to believe that the government is working for us. We definitely are getting mixed messages from Washington D.C. and the Republican ideology of every state for itself may prove to be a real stumbling block as we move through this. I understand that holding the primary votes rubs against the social distance rule. But could not some rules have been set in place. Wouldn't the people who wanted to cast their vote today have been willing to stand in spaced-out lines and move through the voting area slowly? Might it not have played an important role in reinforcing that the nation moves on. That we, its guiding citizens are still making our choice? Couldn't something have been discussed?

I am selfishly happy that Lynda and I went to vote early last Friday on our first work-at-home day. And I'm glad that Sarah pushed herself and her friends to go vote early a few days before us.

There is SO MUCH at stake in this country right now. And the votes cast in the Democratic primary in these short few months between February and June are crucial for citizen engagement, for government legitimacy, and for deciding a better path for our government.

I'm afraid the problems are just piling up.

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