Coronavirus

COVID-19 Patients and Their Families Are Being Put on Police-Enforced Lockdown

From doxxing people with the new coronavirus to making diagnosed and suspected patients wear ankle monitors, some states are taking all the wrong steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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How should governments in the U.S. handle COVID-19 patients, their families, and those with whom they've recently interacted? How about potential patients unable to get tested or awaiting test results?

In countries that have quickly and effectively slowed the spread of the new coronavirus, authorities have subjected residents to what many Americans would deem extreme and invasive "test and trace" measures. Some are opt-in, like Singapore's TraceTogether app. In South Korea, officials rely on tracking methods citizens can't opt out of, such as cell phone location data and electronic purchases. Meanwhile, China requires everyone to download an app that displays a color-coded contagion risk level.

These places tend to be pretty upfront about freedom and security trade-offs. In the U.S., however, authorities often pay lip service to liberty and avoid more moderate safety measures while simultaneously making brave new forays into violating people's privacy and civil rights.

In Kentucky, people who've tested positive for COVID-19 and those merely suspected to be ill have been told not to leave their homes, even with precautions, for 14 days. Sound advice. But in practice, some people live alone and need food (and there are ways to get it, outside the home, without contacting another person). Some people may live in a remote area where walks won't endanger anyone. And so on. Nonetheless, patients and those they live with who leave home for any reason face judge-mandated isolation orders and a GPS ankle monitor in some parts of the Bluegrass State.

In Jefferson County, home to Louisville, health administrators have requested court orders and ankle monitors for at least four people. The first monitor went to a 66-year-old man who left his home after being diagnosed but before receiving a court order to stay at home. After that, two people who lived together got the same treatment even though only one had been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. One was ordered confined after taking a walk, the Courier-Journal reported, and the other because "based on a phone call, [they were] thought to be out of the house."

It appears that in Louisville, COVID-19 patients and their family members are being closely tracked even before being given an explicit order to stay in.

A fourth Louisville residentalso not diagnosed with COVID-19 but merely living with someone who had beengot a court-ordered GPS tracking monitor last week.

In Abilene, Texas, city leaders came close to requiring an Abilene Christian University professor to wear an ankle monitor while he was awaiting a COVID-19 test result. City Manager Robert Hanna said at a press conference that this had in fact happened, then later said otherwise.

In some places, and likely more soon, health authorities are giving the addresses of all people diagnosed with COVID-19 to 911 dispatchers, to be shared with cops, firefighters, and emergency responders should any be called to a coronavirus patient's address.

In Northern Kentucky, dispatchers have been instructed to give police "a heads up if they are headed out to talk with a person at an address where a confirmed COVID-19 patient lives," the Cincinnati Enquirer noted on March 27.

In Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed an executive order last week saying his state can share COVID-19 patient addresses with medics and law enforcement, despite it normally being barred by medical privacy law.

Massachusetts has been doing this statewide since the second week of March; Alabama since March 23.

Police unions in Minnesota, Illinois, and New Jersey are now pushing for the same disclosures.

At first blush, the rationalepolice need protection from a contagious diseasemakes sense. But this could be said about so many diseases, which is why police and medics already take precautions. And with huge numbers of COVID-19 patients being asymptomatic or taking days or weeks to develop symptoms, police officers should currently be taking extra precautions around everyone, anyway.

Montgomery County, Ohio, Sheriff Rob Streck, whose department is not seeking addresses of COVID-19 patients, told reporters, "We've been dealing with people who have had infectious diseases for years that we haven't known about because of confidentiality rules."

Providing police with patient addresses risks extrajudicial surveillance and harassment and patient identities getting out in the wider community.

Yet many folks would like to see some patient info made even more widely available.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has been taking heat from local media and health officials for not requiring the release of city- and town-specific demographic data on COVID-19 patientssomething that could amount to doxxing patients in smaller areas. Other state leaders aren't as cautious. Georgia, for instance, keeps an online list of the age, sex, and county of every COVID-19 patient who has died.

COVID-19 patients and those they live with aren't the only ones facing privacy-invading police hoopla right now, of course. A lot of locales are instituting coronavirus curfews, even though these make little sense beyond security theater: The virus isn't less likely to spread during daytime hours; all a curfew does is ensure everyone has less time and space in which to do socially-distanced exercise and essential errands. (Well, that and giving authorities another excuse to harass residents who do have to leave their homes at night.)

In New Orleans' Acadia Parish, authorities recently announced that anyone outside between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. will have to present a permission slip from their employer or else be given a citation. To alert citizens it's time to get inside, police in the Louisiana city of Crowley played the siren from the movie "The Purge" that signals murder and mayhem are legal all night. (They have since apologized.)

So far, we're not hearing too many stories of police overreach on curfews and stay-at-home orders. "It's in everybody's best interest to get voluntary compliance, and most of us are trying to approach it that way," Art Acevedo, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, recently told USA Today.

Like Acevedo, police units across the country claim to be focusing right now on education, not enforcement. But right now should be cause for concern. The shelf life on this goodwill approach will likely fade as quarantines, business shutdowns, and other aspects of our new outbreak reality drag on.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, told USA Today that while "the best outcome is to get people to voluntarily comply… we're just on the front end of this thing. I fear the public's patience is going to be stretched as time goes on."

And so will the patience of police who keep seeing colleagues fall ill and die from COVID-19.

To the extent that cops are likely to take this out on COVID-19 patients and curfew violators in their communities, their ire will be misplaced. If police can't get the personal protective equipment they need, then their own departments and governments are to blame, not sick or similarly stressed community members also harmed by government missteps. It's certainly not COVID-19 patients who are requiring cops to risk their health by handing out parking tickets and policing minor crimes.

If we want to avoid sick cops, community spread, and more police overreach and abuse, we should be thinking about how to create social distancing between police officers and their communities.

NEXT: Bernie Sanders Suspends His Presidential Campaign

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  1. Authoritarian regimes don’t start with goose-stepping Nazis in the street.

    1. You’re right. They start with the discrediting of the independent media, the destruction of oversight and institutional checks and balances, the hollowing out of the independent judiciary, the purging of bureaucrats unwilling to tow the “official” line, and the steady corruption of the political process.

      Trump can’t order us off the streets and it’s not in him to declare martial law, but we just handed him billions of slush fund money that he’ll be able to play around with for the next several months. I’m sure that’ll turn out well for us and our economy.

      1. Read your first paragraph and it described Obama completely. The media sucked up to him, he got whatever he wanted with Congress and the judiciary laying hands on him, and was treated as the messiah by the public. Second paragraph is just nonsense: the press is entirely hostile to Trump, those who have left the bureaucracy are quite vocal, as are those who are still there, and Congress is mostly against him. He has to win everything by court cases. Frankly I prefer this admin to the last because everyone was so fucking deferential to King Barack.

        1. Was he trying to criticize Trump in that post? That first paragraph sounds like Obama, but also like pretty much all of the past 20 years or so.

          1. I was just trying to point out the slow ratcheting up of control in the name of society.

          2. Zeb
            April.8.2020 at 4:56 pm
            “Was he trying to criticize Trump in that post?”

            Yes.
            Do you need a remedial reading course?

            1. Don’t be a dick. As UA also remarked, the first paragraph sounds like a description of Obama administration. Do you need a course on context and conversation?

      2. Actually they tend to start with fear and economic crisis, but thanks for playing.

        1. And of course the answer to the fear and crisis is always the government.

      3. You’re right. They start with the discrediting of the independent media, the destruction of oversight and institutional checks and balances, the hollowing out of the independent judiciary, the purging of bureaucrats unwilling to tow the “official” line, and the steady corruption of the political process.

        You’ve described Democrats and their approach to government over the last 100 years perfectly. Hardly a surprise either, given that progressivism is soft variant of fascism.

    2. “Authoritarian regimes don’t start with goose-stepping Nazis in the street.”

      Umm, actually… the actual Nazis did. The Brownshirts were marching in the streets a decade before the party first came to power.
      And Mussolini’s Blackshirts did too.
      So did Ion Antonescu’s Iron Guard in Romania and Metaxas’ Freethinkers in Greece and Franco’s Nationalists.
      Even the ones that didn’t make it big like the Irish Blueshirts or Oswald Mosley’s BUF were goose-stepping in the street.

      1. It is truly astounding how little the folks in the “literally orange hitler” know about “literal hitler”.

      2. You can add Antifa to that list. Hopefully, we can nip that in the bud here, though.

  2. I knew there had to be some spark of love of liberty somewhere in Beth’s heart

  3. An ENB story that isn’t about hookers and blow? Cool!

    1. Or freeing nipples somewhere…

    2. You aren’t using your imagination.

  4. Art Avocado? The one and only? Why would anyone believe a single thing he says?

    1. My thoughts exactly, fuck that asshole.

      1. Acevedo, a boil on the buttocks of the world, thank you for pointing out that my emotional response to his “neutral” comment isn’t irrational. His unending persecution of Antonio Buehler and others showed his true personality. Had he been born in Germany in the early 20th century I’m confident he would have worn dual lightning bolts and deaths head uniforms.

  5. >>”the best outcome is to get people to voluntarily comply

    people were. then you assholes went full-shepherd and our middle fingers got extended

    >>I fear the public’s patience is going to be stretched as time goes on.

    “time” started last Friday at the end of the first “two weeks”

  6. I want a national, publicly searchable database of all the diseased untouchables who have allowed themselves to become unclean with this disease. HIPAA can kiss my ass!

  7. “So far, we’re not hearing too many stories of police overreach on curfews and stay-at-home orders. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to get voluntary compliance, and most of us are trying to approach it that way,” Art Acevedo, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, recently told USA Today.”

    Same ass-hat who kills civilians in Houston?

    “And so will the patience of police who keep seeing colleagues fall ill and die from COVID-19.”

    Ummm, Citation please?

  8. This story looks silly in the context of how well those other countries contained the spread of the virus. Thankfully, the death rate is small, but we could save many lives with more surveillance. So yes, we are trading freedom for lives. This pandemic brings out that trade-off in stark relief. Some people may be willing to live with that trade-off. But what about the fact that your choice to flaunt the rules, your freedom, puts other people at risk? Your mere act of breathing poses an externality. This is no longer a philosophical challenge to libertarianism. This is a scientific and empirical challenge playing out in real-time.

    1. If you are scared, you should stay home.

      1. Jesus no kidding.

        >>Your mere act of breathing poses an externality.

        he can stop first.

      2. You should stay home . . . or, if you insist on being anti-social, reckless, and stupid, more sensible society will make you stay home.

        And you will comply. As usual.

        1. Funny, I’ve been going out every day in the majority Hispanic city where I live. Not sure what it’s like for you in the hollers of Pennsylvania, hicklib.

        2. “And you will comply. As usual.”

          No, asshole bigot, not me.
          You, I’m sure would never, ever confront your ‘betters’; you’ll be more than happy to kneel before them and ask for favors.
          Scumbags always do so, asshole bigot.

    2. So yes, we are trading freedom for lives.
      It is far from clear that that is the case. Maybe if the US had taken more severe and quick action, it would be different, but I don’t think that the “lockdown” is doing much.
      And if some miracle vaccine isn’t developed soon, I fear that suppressing the virus now will just mean that it will come back one or more times.
      And challenges based on the economic and social effects isn’t just about money vs. lives. Economic hardship and social isolation costs lives too. And if the world economy really goes to shit, who knows what kind of social unrest or wars might start up? This isn’t a simple calculation of lives vs. money or freedom. The containment policies are actually destructive and actually hurt people in real ways. That is a tradeoff that you need to think about carefully.

      1. It’s going to “come back” repeatedly, just like the flu comes back repeatedly–or more accurately, is always present. The viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia are always present, too. So are a lot of other germs. Adding one more bullshit virus into the mix isn’t a good enough reason to scrap the Bill of Rights. Covid is no more or less dangerous than anything else out there. People are getting fucked on the pretext of saving them from something that most will never get and that’s survived by over 99% of the people who do get it.

        1. You’ve probably heard of a dictionary, but maybe not one of the words in it: “epidemiology”. Oh never mind.

        2. Right now, COVID-19 is probably far more dangerous than the flu, but only because there is no pre-existing immunity to it. That means that, aside from the few people who are recognized to be especially vulnerable and protected as much as practical from all contacts _forever_, everyone is going to catch it. (Those few especially vulnerable people probably were kept in isolation before lest influenza carry them off, and often cannot be vaccinated safely.)

          Once a significant part of the population has recovered from it, they will be immune, at least for a few months, which will slow down further waves. Unless this is a freakishly unlikely case, immunity to the particular strain lasts decades or a lifetime, so once you’ve caught it, you can’t catch it again unless and until it mutates sufficiently that your immune system no longer recognizes it. If this virus is as slow to mutate as smallpox or measles, immunity is generally for a lifetime and vaccines are quite effective – so it will either fade away from public consciousness like SARS, etc., or become just another in the long list of diseases for which we vaccinate our children and never think of again .

          If it mutates as quickly as influenza or a rhinovirus, it may return in annual waves, with the vaccine developers trying to anticipate the likely mutations and get out ahead of the next wave with an improved vaccine. Catching or being vaccinated against a different strain still confers partial immunity, so further waves won’t spread as fast or be as dangerous. The worst case is that this will be another disease like flu and noravirus – requiring continuing monitoring, annual vaccination, and possibly being an annual nuisance for most people and a danger for the immune-compromised or too ill for vaccination.

          1. BUT we have to get through the first wave. And the hazard is overloading intensive care to the point that, when a new COVID case or accident victim arrives at the hospital, they may not be able to treat him. That’s when the death rate soars.

    3. “But what about the fact that your choice to flaunt the rules, your freedom, puts other people at risk?”

      If you are not infected, you are not putting anybody at risk. If you do not know you are infected, then you are not KNOWINGLY putting people at risk.

      Disease is a force of nature. I am no more at fault for a virus using my body to launch out at someone else than I am responsible for a tornado launching my mailbox through someone else’s front window. Sometimes forces of nature happen, and no one is responsible for that.

      Of course, sometimes we may knowingly aid or aggravate that force of nature such as failing to maintain proper fire abatement in a forest fire area, or by intentionally doing risky things when we know that we are infected. In those cases, the state may have a role to play. Imprisoning healthy people is not one of those cases.

      1. “If you are not infected, you are not putting anybody at risk.”

        Exactly. So far, the experts haven’t really proven that people are infected (at least not to the degree that all of us should be forced out of work). All they’ve done is claim that thousands upon thousands are. Even when testing a population that is “likely” to be positive, those tests are coming back negative over 90% of the time (at least in Ohio). What does that say about the population they deem does not need testing?

    4. Average yearly global deaths from seasonal flu from 250,000 to 650,00 depending on who cooks the numbers.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815659/

    5. Heraclitus
      April.8.2020 at 3:30 pm
      “…So yes, we are trading freedom for lives. This pandemic brings out that trade-off in stark relief…”

      Not surprisingly, given that you ARE a fucking lefty ignoramus, any support for that claim seems to have gotten lost.
      No, shitstain, we are not “all in this together”. You go kneel and beg your betters for favors.
      I’ll ignore them and scumbag lefty shits like you.

    6. So yes, we are trading freedom for lives. This pandemic brings out that trade-off in stark relief.

      Yes, in the sense that we are wasting vast amounts of resources to accomplish next to nothing, extraordinary waste even by government standards.

  9. Ya know, the Starwars prequels aren’t spectacular, but the line “So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause” is criminally underrated.

    1. Even odder: the Star Wars franchise celebrates elite warriors who know better than parliament. Of course, parliament is just a rubber stamp for the Emperor, but ….

      1. Yes, but enough about Obama’s imperial presidency.

        Under Trump, Congress is fighting Trump every step of the way.

    2. How dare you?! The prequels were the best trilogy in the series.

  10. So, thinking forward a couple steps yesterday, it became obvious what’s going to happen in the event we begin talking about going back to work (which I think everyone under 50 or so should be doing right now since they’re demographic literally has flu-like odds of getting it and getting sick):

    I’ve got $100 bucks that says the dem party line will be to stall and make excuses for why we should stay in quarantine, so as to further wreck the economy.

    Taking this thought further, I believe that it may seriously divide the country and all sorts of bad things can happen from that point. If the dems shamelessly stall, they will be accused of being traitors, because that’s what they would be by definition.

    This would start civil unrest to the point we begin talking of civil war, and the logical response from the government would be to hand us that gift-wrapped martial law they’ve been waiting so patiently to employ.

    This isn’t wild speculation, this appears to be a designed plan that looks pretty easy to steer the country into.

    I propose radical times call for radical measures: we’ve got to swallow our pride and come together – dems, Republs, libertarians, et al, and put our differences aside to fix this country – regardless of who gets the credit, or whose campaign gets a boost.

    1. …. regardless of who gets the credit, or whose campaign gets a boost.
      Look at Pollyanna over here.

    2. Hey Rocky,

      whenever ANYONE says “We should come together…” what they really mean is, you should do what MY TEAM says you should do.

      1. Just like when management talks about teamwork, what they really mean is the workers are the team, and management drives them with a whip.

    3. Just like another famous politician once said:

      In the face of the burning emergency in which the people and the country currently stand, and especially in the face of the storm clouds that are beginning to rise in and around our nation, we extend our hand at this hour everyone, including previous opponents, had a hand to ensure the continuation of the national advancement work. We believe that working together is more important than all party political and other considerations; that we all must refrain from petty political statements. The present hour cannot be characterized by words. Its dominant law, is that of quick, constructive and effective action. And we can only accomplish this together.

      No, that wasn’t Hitler, nor even a fascist. That was Prelate Kaas before casting the deciding votes in German parliament to install Hitler as dictator. The man was a fool who bears a great deal of responsibility for the millions who died in WWII.

      I’m not “coming together” with fascists or socialists, nor with their enablers. You are either a fool or evil.

  11. Fuck this shit. I don’t care what the emergency is, government should never have these powers.

    1. Word, brother.

  12. “And so will the patience of police who keep seeing colleagues fall ill and die from COVID-19.” Then maybe it’s time for them to re-evaluate their policy of instigating encounters with people who aren’t hurting anyone. That policy should have been in place a long time ago. And maybe it’s time for them to put down the doughnuts and lace up the running shoes. I can’t remember the last time I saw a picture of a pig who didn’t look like a busted can of biscuits.

    1. Society will disregard your opinions, as is customary.

      1. Society is too busy to f*ck itself over to listen to anybody’s opinions.

  13. We’re not hearing too much of police overreach (it IS happening) because widespread civil disobedience isn’t common yet and it lacks a certain racial component.

    It’s been reported that black Americans are at a higher risk of infection. Inevitably a twitchy cop will overplay his hand with some black kids playing outside and questions about civil liberty will be a thing again. Right now the left is fine with arresting church goers for “spreading death” closing down gun stores in a society where the lawmen are telling people they won’t be enforcing the law.

    It’s good to see Reason finally bring up the surveillance aspect of testing. Korea went as far as to threaten deportation of foreigners for violating quarantine. Korea is an oligarchy and borderline a banana republic, and the west slobbered all over their testing while expressing some mild praise on Taiwan, who beat the Virus all but clean (although they also track people).

    Is anyone showing any appreciation for Taiwan? They got the job done and warned others. Why the retarded media sings China’s praise even after they sent defective testing kits all over Europe is beyond me. China Pwns the American left.

  14. “Providing police with patient addresses risks extrajudicial surveillance and harassment and patient identities getting out in the wider community.”

    ENB, you are aware that anyone working with patients or who has this data can easily create an anonymous account on social media and share it anyways, right? They can share it with the general public. For free. They can make the wider community privy to this info. Is it a violation? You betcha, but it doesn’t matter. You can’t find them.

    Any healthcare worker that is afraid of the virus spreading can share who they know who has it and no one will ever find out who the person sharing it is. News media can then boost this signal by reporting on a healthcare working doing this and share the link or the account doing it. Free press reporting on a person doing this. It would be factual.

    You’re worried about doxxxing now? Remember when you championed CDA 230 “as the internet’s First Amendment” even though the internet is already protected by that?

    This is what you want. Why you so afraid now?

    1. “…You’re worried about doxxxing now? Remember when you championed CDA 230 “as the internet’s First Amendment” even though the internet is already protected by that?…”

      Bullshit.

  15. Thanks for the article ENB. aside from a couple of to be sures this is damn good reporting.

  16. Meanwhile.
    https://nypost.com/2020/04/07/illinois-mayor-cracks-down-on-gatherings-then-his-wife-is-caught-at-a-bar/
    “Brant Walker, mayor of Alton, Illinois, said in a briefing on Friday: “These are very serious times and I’m begging you to please stay at home … I have directed the police department to use their discretion in issuing citations or making arrests for those refusing to follow the state-issued stay-at-home mandate.”

    Less than 48 hours later, police found Walker’s wife, Shannon at Hiram’s Tavern in downtown Alston when they broke up an illicit gathering in the watering hole around 1 a.m. Sunday, the mayor admitted in a statement.”

  17. “How should governments in the U.S. handle COVID-19 patients, their families, and those with whom they’ve recently interacted?”

    The government should provide the best information it has and fuck off.
    That is all.
    We have hundreds of years of experience regarding reliance of ANY government to ‘help’ the population. Not ONCE did a population benefit from government action in a crisis.

  18. FWIW, monitoring people who have tested positive for the virus makes more sense than making it against the law for people to open for business or go to work–even though they haven’t tested positive for the virus.

  19. Screw HIPPA, LOCK THEM ALL UP. What is going on? If a cop has DPOA they can get all, the info the want or need. But they don’t.

  20. Please send this to public officials. This tyranny needs to stop now before our country is completely ruined by big government.

    Stop the Tyranny
    Since the government has decided to panic over COVID-19, there has been one tyrannical, unconstitutional act performed by the government of this country and this state after another. The State of Idaho has become a totalitarian regime that is denying its citizens their constitutional rights.
    According to the Declaration of Independence we have the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” According to the first amendment to the constitution we have the right of assembly and the right to practice our religions. Those have all been denied by the governor of this state. No one in our state is able to choose what to do with their lives. They don’t have liberty. They are not allowed to pursue happiness. It is as bad as communism.
    I understand that there is a virus that is deadly to some people in our state. It is important that people be warned about the danger and be given information about how to prevent its spread. After that, people should be allowed to choose how to react. Many will choose to be more careful, wash their hands more, wear a mask in public, socially distance themselves and their families, and stay in their houses. Others will take more risks. This is the way our country normally behaves. If people don’t want to get the virus, they can protect themselves. It isn’t the job of the government to force people to behave a certain way.
    Why is tobacco legal? 470,000 Americans die from tobacco related illnesses every year. Why are people allowed to eat to excess? 300,000 Americans die from obesity related illnesses every year. Why are people allowed to drink alcohol? 88,000 Americans die from alcohol related illnesses every year. I can ask the same question about 38,000 deaths from car accidents along with all the other things that the people of America are allowed to do even though they are not good for their health. COVID-19 is a far less deadly problem than all of these and yet everyone is being asked to stop their lives and shut themselves in because of it.
    There are dire consequences to these policies. People are losing their jobs, business owners are losing their businesses. People are losing hope because of the way the economy has been shut down and are committing suicide. At this point, this illness seems to have about the same number of deaths in our country as a regular flu. As many as 60,000 Americans die from the flu every year, and yet we don’t shut down our state or the country over it.
    People who sacrifice their freedom for security don’t wind up with either one.
    The impact of this disease has been extremely overestimated. The models that claim to show how many people are going to get it and how many will die keep being proven to be overblown and are being revised down. This is especially true in Idaho.
    I have a business in Meridian, and because of the overreaction of the government in this state, I have not been able to hire the three people I was planning to hire. The employees that I do have are getting fewer hours because we don’t have the business to justify their normal number of hours. These are not high-paying positions, so most of these people are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to be without employment. They can’t afford food, gas, utilities unless they have a job.
    It makes me so angry to see all of those in government continue to collect a paycheck while these poor people are suffering because the government has made bad choices.
    So, the US congress decides to pass laws to give out money to everyone, basically increasing the money supply and causing inflation. But worse, citizens are forced to go on government assistance and unemployment when they would much prefer to be working for their income. When people live off the government, it destroys their lives.
    I am sick and tired of you people claiming that by allowing the economy to run, we are choosing money over lives. That is ridiculous. Closing our economy is destroying lives. Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives. The State of Idaho is making sure that its citizens can’t live full lives.
    I am also sick of people saying that it is just an annoyance to stay in our homes. People who are forced to stay at home are suffering greatly financially and psychologically. This is a problem that isn’t going to be over when and if the State is ever opened-up again. The consequences of this shutdown is going to be felt for much longer. And every day that we are shut down is making it more and more difficult for us to ever get back to our former well-being and prosperity.
    My husband worked with at-risk high school children before his work was shut down. Many of those children’s homes are toxic environments where they undergo, mental and physical abuse and neglect. Many of them have parents who are alcoholics, drug addicts, and criminals. Many of these children themselves are going down that same path. Since the governor’s order shut things down, these children are stuck in their homes, or worse, are out getting into trouble. One of the children he worked with committed suicide last year. I am worried that might happen again. I am worried that they will be scarred for life by this episode. Many of them already have depression, anxiety, and other mental problems that are being made worse by this shutdown.
    My family is having to make sacrifices we don’t want to make. Our children may have to quit college because we can’t afford the tuition anymore and they can’t get a job to put themselves through college.
    The shutdown was supposed to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed. According to even the most pessimistic models, the hospitals in Idaho would never have been over capacity. Even in New York, where things are the worst, everyone is being cared for in the hospitals. In Idaho, the hospitals are like ghost towns. They have hardly any patients in them. Many nurses have been laid-off because they don’t have any work. This makes no sense!
    We have had some COVID-19 cases, but the numbers are going down quickly. There still is a danger, but there are always dangers. We allow people to drive cars even though there are 38,000 deaths in the United States due to car accidents. No one get out of this world alive. There is always a risk to everything we do. That doesn’t mean we stop everything.
    Children are losing their educations. Instead they are being frightened and aren’t allowed to enjoy their lives.
    I understand the importance of taking precautions and I believe that individuals will do that if they are given the information. The State of Idaho needs to stop this stay-at-home order now before it ruins more lives and dreams. Governor Little, you have the power and the responsibility to stop this madness!

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