By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
At this point in my life, it takes a lot for me to really admire the actions of an elected official. Why? Because politicians rarely do the right thing when it means pissing off a large segment of the population.
But that wasn’t the case earlier this year when Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine stepped up to fight coronavirus and locked it all down. It was the right thing to do in the face of a virus that we knew little about and could do little medically to combat until it was already ravaging your body. I admired their courage.
People weren’t happy. They never are when they’re told what to do, even for their own good. To make matters worse, soon-to-be-ex-President Donald Trump fired up his Flock and convinced a lot of people that the virus was a hoax that was being used as a political ploy to get him out of office. Those People fought back, refused to wear masks, and made a lot of noise about their constitutional right to be idiots.
So, we all loosened up over the summer and then the promised surge came. And no orders were given. The federal government is doing nothing to combat coronavirus. In fact, Donald Trump is committing genocide against his own people, especially minority communities which have been the hardest hit. It’s genocide by Indifference.
And as things have continued to get worse. Health and government officials have been asking, urging, begging, pleading with people to take steps themselves to stop the spread. Many school districts populated by those same Trump sheep I mentioned earlier refuse to close their schools. In October, people held large Halloween parties and unauthorized school dances and sleepovers and watching the game at bars.
Now, here we are. Worse off than we were in March when Pa. set the standard for Coronavirus mitigation. Now we have leaders who have still not found the political courage to do the right thing and lock it down.
Hopefully, it’s coming soon. Just this afternoon, Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Deborah Bogen issued a non mandated stay-at-home “advisory.”
“For the past few weeks, I’ve asked people to follow the rules, curtail gatherings and parties, stay home except for essentials, and wear masks. I’m done asking and today, I’m telling you that these are things we must all do to bring down the level of spread and keep our community safe,” Bogen said.
Except she is still asking, so is the city, so is the state. Without an enforceable mandate, people will continue to do what they want.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are coming, we just have to wait it out a bit longer. But people don’t want to wait, so they won’t unless they’re forced.
It’s time for Pa. to follow the lead of other states — even Republican-led states — and lock it down. Yes, it will be hard. Yes it will be a struggle and we’ll have to have to make allowances for people struggling financially. Yes, it will hurt small businesses. It’s hurting this small business as a matter of fact, but we don’t have a choice.
Yes, we’ll be struggling, but at least we’ll be alive.