Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced new measures and orders on Tuesday, Nov. 10, in response to rising COVID cases and hospitalizations statewide and nationally.
Hogan is rolling back indoor capacities at restaurants from 75% to 50%. The governor is ordering most state employees to work at home and is also discouraging out-of-state travel to areas with rising COVID metrics. He also wants local authorities — including the police — to be more aggressive with enforcements of COVID orders.
The governor did not institute new closures or shutdowns but did not rule those out if the current reported rise in cases continues.
We hope Hogan does not impose new shutdowns. The governor has correctly tried to balance the need to protect public health with the economy, jobs as well as our collective mental health in the state’s COVID approach.
The reported rises in cases after the election are worrisome. But widespread shutdowns and new restrictions would devastate our already teetering economy.
How many more local businesses, jobs and livelihoods could be lost if we go into shutdown mode now?
We also hope Hogan drills down on the COVID numbers and takes future actions accordingly.
Talbot County Health Office Dr. Fredia Wadley said Tuesday, Nov. 10, that the county has the lowest COVID rate in the state.
We need to continue to take necessary precautions especially to protect seniors and those most vulnerable to the virus. But we hope Hogan and others do not push a one-size-fits-all approach to the rise in cases.
A concerning rise in cases in Allegany County or Baltimore City should not shut down restaurants, small businesses and everyday life in Talbot County or other places on the Shore where COVID rates are low.
We are concerned by Hogan’s pronouncements that he wants more aggressive enforcements of state COVID orders by local governments and police.
The governor rightly acknowledged there is significant coronavirus fatigue.
There is also poised to be resistance to continued orders, potential new shutdowns and the touted Pfizer vaccine that could be deployed soon.
We certainly need to protect public health but it also incumbent upon us to keep the economy open and not foster climates of fear and anxiety. We need level-headed approaches to build trust — not resistance.
Hogan’s motivations may be for Marylanders and businesses to stay vigilant and protective of seniors and those with underlying medical conditions. But we don’t like the promises of potential arrests and shutting down businesses who disobey COVID orders.
A new wave of shutdowns have been imposed in Europe and other U.S. states and regions are mulling the same.
Some of the restrictions in the United Kingdom and Europe include travel bans, mandatory COVID tests for visitors, business shutdowns and restrictions on protests and public gatherings.
Those have sparked protests and are dangerous path. We cannot lose sight of our civil liberties along with our jobs and protecting our health as we deal with this latest reported increase in cases.
The governor has tried to balance public health and the economy previously during the pandemic.
We hope he continues down that path and does not lose sight of our liberties and freedoms.