Many Michigan Businesses Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves
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Many Michigan Businesses Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves

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COVID-19 is the biggest global pandemic any of us have ever faced.

At the moment, we have no vaccine or recognized treatment for COVID-19. This is a very serious situation.

It might seem hypercritical coming from a proclaimed voluntarist but when so many businesses have put profits over life and stay open, I think they need to be shut down. Immediately.

Shutting Down – It’s The Law

Just a couple of weeks ago, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order EO 2020-21, a “Stay At Home” order which also required all non-critical businesses to temporarily close to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Governor Whitmer placed exemptions for “essential” employees and “critical” businesses (including their suppliers and other distributors). Obviously this includes public safety and health care jobs.

Personally, I don’t understand why she waited so long but at least she issued the order.

The problem is two-fold…

First, the order is too damn lenient. If I had it my way, you’d close up shop and keep your ass at home unless you were stopping someone from bleeding out.

I know, I know, that doesn’t sound like a voluntarist. Trust me, I struggle with it myself but when thousands of people are dying of a virus that can only be controlled by separation – separation is the only answer.

Second, the vast majority of the businesses that are still open and are putting both employees and the community at risk are “essential” only to their own profits.

Too many Michigan businesses are allowing profits over people to decide COVID-19 safe practices.

Who The Hell Am I?

Look, I’m a local truck driver in Detroit and up until last Friday, I was delivering to and picking up at Detroit businesses all day long, five days a week.

Very little, and I mean damn little, of what I delivered would be considered critical or essential by any stretch of the imagination. The businesses themselves shouldn’t be considered critical. Most of them at least.

Many have found “loopholes” in order to stay open. They justify it in their greedy ass minds and the hell with people dying. They have businesses to run.

One Example Of A Non-Critical Company Staying Open

I like my job and so I’m not going to name businesses. No good can come from that at this point anyway.

I will tell you this; The day after the order to shut down, I went to a small business that isn’t essential on its best day and they were holding a meeting. Not about shutting down by 3 PM like they were supposed to – about how they could justify staying open in the unlikely event the authorities challenged their decision. That’s actually their words. Amazing. By the way, as of last Friday, they were still running fully staffed.

“The current climate should not be viewed through the lens of business opportunism where dollars drive decisions over the good of the public’s health”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

I Had To Opt-Out!

I decided to finish the week and take a leave of absence. Technically I’m an essential employee. While I do agree that trucking companies need to continue delivering critical supplies, I certainly didn’t feel I was contributing to anything worthwhile and was potentially at risk of spreading this virus.

So I called into HR and requested a leave of absence under the FMLA and that’s where I’m going to stay for a while – at home. I see no reason to risk my family’s health delivering used engines and motor oil. We have zero income at the moment but we’ll be fine. A prepper can survive.

Had it been only medical supplies and PPE, I’d still be driving today with my head held high wearing nitrile gloves and bathing in hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, that just wasn’t the case.

Here’s one of my tweets of frustration. Yes, I have far too many Twitter accounts.

One More Time

Again, I am deeply disappointed, but not surprised, in how many businesses care nothing at all for their employees or the communities that support them. It’s a dangerous game and I bet lawyers will be very busy for many years after this tragedy comes to a close.

Stay safe and stay the hell home, Brian D. Hawkins

Featured image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Photo Credit: Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA & WikiMedia.org

Brian D. Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and all around great guy. Married and from Michigan.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. D Jay

    Hey Brian – Those “greedy ass minds” kept you financially afloat last week in providing income for you and your family. If THEY are so abhorrent, why did YOU go to them??

    1. Brian D. Hawkins

      I think I made my views pretty clear D Jay. They don’t pay me directly but I understand your point. I don’t accept that businesses should be able to bring workers in and unnecessarily risk their lives and the lives of their families. Frankly, I can’t believe that’s your stance.

      Today, in Detroit alone, there are 5,824 confirmed cases and 251 deaths from the coronavirus. Michigan has 20,346 cases and almost a thousand deaths. We’re still a couple of weeks away when the projected death rates will skyrocket.

      Here’s something to think about. If DEATHS will peak in 1-1/2 to 2 weeks when did those people that will die become infected?

      And you’re stance is they paid for shipping last week? Or they pay their employees? Seriously? As far as “why did YOU go to them?”, I have rules to follow just like everyone else. I followed procedure so I would have a job to go back to and not to put a strain on them.

      BTW, the company I drive for is not my issue, trucks have to roll or everything stops. It’s those staying open to make cool-aid, fence posts, plastic pails or believe it or not, sell pool supplies. Friday I took a video of a nail & hair salon FULL of people.

      But I guess it’s alright that thousands more will die because, after all, those businesses pay those people to come in. They hold no responsibility, right?

      Anyway, thank you for taking the time to comment.

  2. Steven Hawkins

    I agree with every single word of this. I am disappointed in our own government in Georgia because Brian Kemp refused to put the State of Georgia on lock-down until a couple of weeks ago. It is also far too lenient. Most of the lock down is city by city and county by county. The problem is a lot of government officials from the city up to the federal government care more about the economy than people’s lives. You can hear it in many of Trump’s briefings about opening the country back up and the same goes with our own governor who didn’t want to put everyone on lock down for the same reasons. If it were up to me, I would deploy the military and put everyone under martial law. Yeah, you would have issues with it, people would be crying that their rights are being infringed upon but I would do it for a month. I would also make sure everybody got paid during it and was taking care. Then again, this is why I am not President or up in Washington with all them cronies on both sides of the aisle trying to find ways to make us peasants suffer.

    1. Brian D. Hawkins

      I don’t think this event justifies martial law but I do agree things should have been implemented earlier. I’m glad I don’t have to make those type of decisions.

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