Something strange is going on. One Indiana county seems to be moving in the opposite direction of Governor Eric Holcomb. He announced tentative steps towards reopening the state’s economy on April 20th. The state’s coronavirus experience has been far below initial projections. According to Johns Hopkins monitoring, Indiana has experienced 964 deaths from COVID-19. Almost a third of these were in and around Indianapolis.
The new order allows hospitals to begin some non-emergency procedures and opened some non-essential businesses like plant nurseries and pet groomers. If things went well he added timeframes for services like dental offices and shopping malls to resume services. His order also provided for regional and local differences.
Indiana’s positive test rate from the over 90,000 done to date remains below 20%. This is in line with most other states where the emphasis has still been on testing symptomatic individuals. Without the kind of epidemic levels of disease seen in the nation’s hotspots and significant areas of the state being less densely populated, the steps outlined by Gov. Holcomb seem reasonable and responsible.
So what is going on in White County, IN, and its county seat Monticello? With a population density of just 50 people per square mile and no recorded deaths as of this writing per Johns Hopkins, one would expect it to embrace Gov. Holcomb’s moves.
That assumption would be incorrect. It appears White County is still only allowing essential businesses to operate. On April 28, the day after Indiana targeted reopening dental offices, the county commissioners in White County issued new orders that seem more appropriate for a lockdown. According to a Facebook post, these include:
- Strict limits on the number of customers per square foot of retail space
- Only one family member is allowed in a retail space at a time
- Children under 16 are not allowed in any essential business
- Knowingly violating these orders is punishable by $1000 fine or 180 days in jail
So not only will essential businesses have to pay someone to count the number of patrons, but they will also have to check I.D. for age and home address? The order states that the business is responsible for enforcing the order. I have questions.
How is a single parent with young children supposed to grocery shop? How likely is it in a county of approximately 24,000 residents that any retail outlet is going to be overcrowded? How is it even possible a jail term could be associated with this order? The biggest question of all is why?
While no party affiliation is noted for the commissioners on the White County website, it is located in IN-4 which has been represented by a Republican since 1993. It does not seem like pure politics is at play here as it is in many Democrat-controlled areas of the country.
That leaves the most obvious guess to be fear. Fear of a virus that does not appear to have touched this county in any significant way. Panic constantly reinforced by a corporate media bent on opposing the president aided and abetted by tech companies that will censor any information that is not consistent with the authoritative information provided by the WHO.
Meanwhile a single mom is dropping her kids off with an elderly neighbor in White County, Indiana so she can go get groceries for the week. Precisely who are orders based on fear and media malpractice helping?
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