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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