Louisiana’s reaction to covid-19…is it enough? 3rd worst?
Louisiana, home of the sportsman, land of the Big Easy. What else does Louisiana excel in. Well, there is the Oil industry that should be phrased out in favor of renewable fuels like Solar, wind and water if we want to achieve a health environment going forward. So, I guess you could say, sadly, that Louisiana is among the first in adding to the pollution index nationwide.
But now, it is the third most rapidly growing state in terms of new infections, after New York and Washington in the rate of increase of known Covid-19 victims. No, we don’t have the most patients, but our numbers are moving up quickly…especially considering our relatively small population compared to places like California.
Originally, the governor here decided, as I have said in prior articles, that casinos, movie theaters, bars and malls (but apparently not strip malls or “shopping centers”) were to be closed. Restaurants were to be open only for take out, or delivery service. That would seem to have drove a dent into our economy since casinos, movie theaters and bars, especially are a huge part of New Orlean’s economy. In fact those industries drive a large portion of our economy because after all, what percentage of people come to the Big Easy for anything other than the French Quarter and its related bars, casinos and similar hang outs.
Now, I think this prohibition was needed for health reasons and I applaud that decision. However, it has to be observed that the culture in this city and state are going to be different until the epidemic is over.
My biggest problem thus far, was the nuances of the prior announcement. Sadly, the new amended quarantine orders leave gaps as well. Just as I thought that leaving out “shopping centers”, some of which are just as big as a mall, I now find questions about the new standard.
The new decision is that people should not go to work in the current environment with exception. There is where the problem lies. Now some are understandable. We still want and need food, so grocery stores are needed perhaps on reduced hours. My local Winn-Dixie is now open about 8a-8p instead of from 7a-11p. In addition 8–9am is designated for seniors who are at heightened risk. All well and good. Food is important, we all need to eat, so I can understand restaurants being open only for take-out.
Then we have hospitals and medical facilities. These are to keep going, again this is understandable. We need medical people during a medical crisis.
What I don’t understand, however, is roughly called infra-structure needing to be open for business. The definition of “infra-structure” includes the pumping and refining stations for oil and gas. That sounds like another case of catering to the bloated oil industry rather than any real human need.
I am certainly not going many places at all. Yes, I drive to a drive though window to get a hamburger, or something once a day or so. However, I have driven maybe 25 miles in the last 3 or 4 days. I am not running all over the city and if oil were to be scarce as part of this crash, I could easily wake to a number of restaurants/grocery stores to get more food when absolutely necessary.
My concern is that in a time of an epidemic when we are telling people to stay in, there should be as few “exceptions” as possible. If it necessary to cut back, it is necessary to REALLY cut back rather than use carefully worded rules with all sorts of loopholes built in so that people are running the streets almost as much as they ever did and shopping in large numbers at big box stores.
If we leave too many loopholes in place, we might as well just forget the whole thing and act like Covid-19 isn’t happening for all the good it is going to do. Like I often heard “either shit or get off the pot”. We need to do one or the other…and do it soon.
Either that or the estimate that 110 million Americans are going to have this virus before it is over is likely to come true. Then how big will the mess be?