The state of Washington continues to throw its population into an economic death spiral with draconian shutdown orders. Even though it’s almost a certainty that the healthcare infrastructure won’t get overtaxed by coronavirus hospitalizations, that hasn’t stopped authoritarian-minded politicians from enacting frightening stoppages in economic ongoings.
To make things worse and on par with an unsettling national theme, the state seems to be classifying unrelated deaths as coronavirus,. In the case of Washington, they classified several gunshot deaths as COVID-19.
“We currently do have some deaths that are being reported that are clearly from other causes,” Dr. Katie Hutchinson said during an audio telebriefing.
“We have about five deaths — less than five deaths — that we know of that are related to obvious other causes. In this case, they are from gunshot wounds.”
Although Hutchinson claims the deaths will be removed from the overall coronavirus death tally, the damage is done. While death totals are current, policymakers leverage them to decide how long economic shutdowns should stay. Right now, Washington feels hopeless. Ramping up death totals gives politicians an ability to circumvent common-sense reopen strategies.
Governor Jay Inslee did little in the way to explain the miscounting, instead, he became combative and defensive over the situation.
“The problem is you got some people out there who are fanning these conspiracy claims from the planet Pluto,” Inslee said Monday, according to KOMO News in Seattle.
“And it’s just disgusting what they’re trying to say of all these crazy deep-state malarkey. Who are kinda suggests that this not a problem in our state. I find that hard to accept with the number of dead in our state. So, that’s a problem. And I hope it gets resolved.”
This isn’t leadership, it’s an authoritarian uncomfortable with facts and criticism. So he lashes out, labels those who state the facts as “conspiracy theorists,” and then sweeps it all under the rug.
Inslee extended his stay-at-home order for the state at least through May 31. In order to reopen Washington, Inslee needs to see improvements in the following: COVID 19 disease activity; testing capacity and availability; case and contact investigations; risk to vulnerable populations, and health care system readiness.
Washington’s “phase” levels are a death sentence to most small businesses and to people’s mental states. This is phase 1:
- High-risk populations: Continue to stay home, stay healthy.
- Outdoor: Some outdoor recreation (hunting, fishing, golf, boating, hiking).
- Gatherings: Religious organizations can now hold outdoor services with up to 100 people. Proper social distancing should be practiced and attendees should wear face coverings.
- Travel: Only essential travel.
- Business/Employers: Essential businesses open, including existing construction that meets agreed-upon criteria, landscaping, automobile sales, retail (curb-side pick-up orders only), car washes, pet walkers.
At some point, people must go back to work and life must resume to the “old normal,” something that many politicians seem adverse to deploy.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
Please visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information.
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