Ohio governor Mike DeWine is officially a COV-idiot. As a citizen of Ohio, I thought our governor had been handling the Coronavirus fairly well. That has recently changed as he has implemented new COVID restrictions that do not make any sense.
Ohio was among one of the first states to begin “reopening” back in May following heavy stay at home orders. Since then, and until recently, Ohio’s economy had few restrictions. As an average citizen observing, it seemed to me that only large events like concerts were the only thing still prohibited. The Columbus Zoo and even Cedar Point were open to the public. Only difference from normal times being COVID safety precautions.
On November 19, 2020, the governor’s first round of the COVID curfew began. The curfew lasts from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am. Under the order, individuals in the state must stay at a place of residence, except for obtaining necessary food, medical, or social services, or providing care for others. After 21 days of the original curfew, the governor announced that the curfew will be extended.
During the initial curfew, Ohio saw its 5 highest daily case totals, hospitalizations rise to their highest levels, the most patients placed on ventilators, and highest usage of ICU beds were reached during the 21 day curfew. With this information, one would believe that the curfew had little to no effect. The governor nearly admits so himself. When asked for data that supports another curfew, the governor did not provide any, but nearly just said he, along with health professionals, “believe” it was effective because people took the virus seriously, wore masks, and followed the curfew. He said, “Those three things came together at the same time, and it’s probably impossible to pull-out from that what had the most impact, and what didn’t. I happen to think all three had an impact.”. So he can’t even provide any supporting data, and says it would be impossible to know what had an effect, but he just “thinks” that everything has had an impact on virus cases in Ohio. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds a little wishy-washy.
That’s not all folks. Governor DeWine made a special exception for fans to attend the Browns football game, and any “approved” sporting events that may end after the curfew begins. Here’s a quote from the governor commenting on this:
“To be really honest and frank, the biggest threat from these games is not what goes on inside the stadium… The biggest threat is people who have the urge to gather with friends inside their homes.”
Here he is indirectly admitting the problem is with the virus being spread in people’s homes. In this specific example, he wants to throw people under the bus who like to gather to watch the ball game.
We’ve been living with the virus for at least 9 months at this point. No amount of the governor trying to make people feel bad now is going to change people’s behavior. If they haven’t been concerned with the virus to the point that they aren’t hanging out with their friends and family by now, a silly curfew isn’t going to all of a sudden whip them into shape. Not to mention the fact that there are some restaurants and bars that are larger than people’s homes. So instead of people social distancing at an establishment to watch the football game, they are forced into their homes exactly where the governor says the problem is occurring.
Forgetting football, which is not a great interest of mine anyway, a small group of friends who may like to meet up for a night cap after 2nd shift now may need to change plans to have lunch before work. This isn’t a big deal, except it forces more people to undergo activities during the day, when there are more people in public, rather than doing them at night when there are less people. These examples may not account for many real-life situations, but the point is, if the idea is to prevent people from spreading the virus, it doesn’t make sense to concentrate everybody into one time and place. It is seemingly counter-intuitive.
Lastly, if that wasn’t enough, the state has issued new guidelines for high school sports. High school wrestling will be allowed to take place. However, athletes may not shake hands before or after the match, must wear “facial coverings”, and maintain 6 feet of distance while on the bench. If you’re not scratching your head, you should be. Wrestling, not WWE style, is one of the most contact of contact sports played in high schools. Once two opponents square off on the mat, all other COVID safety precautions they took don’t mean anything. If an athlete potentially has the virus, the highest point of transmission would take place during the wrestling match.
With all these rules that the governor can’t seem to justify, I no longer believe he is handling the Coronavirus well in Ohio. I will give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the high school sports rules, as they appear to be directives of OHSAA, and the governor may not have been involved in the rule making. He must certainly be aware of the policy, and has the power to undo it. I would be more forgiving if his plans made more sense, and I’m certainly not trying to minimize the effects of the virus. It would be one thing if he was actually able to present data and make a reasonable argument why we should have to follow a curfew, and why athletes competing against each other can’t shake hands. He either can’t or won’t, and that’s a shame.