Though I’m a St. Louis resident, I have been social distancing in my hometown in Michigan for the past few weeks. Fortunately, the internet and video calls have allowed me to keep working and stay in touch with Missourians. Unfortunately, Michigan is perhaps one of the worst places I could’ve chosen to ride out this pandemic. Detroit has become a COVID-19 hotspot, and as a result Michigan has instituted some restrictions that I believe may be too heavy-handed.
I want to be very clear that I am not taking this global crisis lightly. Michigan has had thousands of cases in the past few weeks, and I’m extremely worried about my family, friends, and others in Michigan. I think these stay-at-home orders are beneficial in the fight against the coronavirus, but I also think there is a balance between trying to ensure safety and trying to excessively control citizens. It seems fair to question whether Michigan has achieved that balance.
The most recent executive order contains what I think are some unnecessary and seemingly arbitrary restrictions on the everyday lives of Michiganders. For example, all public and private gatherings of any size between people who do not live in the same household are prohibited. If you own two residences, you are not allowed to travel between them.. Stores are not allowed to sell goods from the following categories: carpet or flooring, furniture, garden centers, and paint. Businesses are also to refrain from advertising or promoting items that are not groceries, medical supplies, or essential items. Lottery tickets, however, are fine to purchase. The executive order also prohibits of the use of any boats with a motor, which is especially relevant to both industry and citizens in a state surrounded by the Great Lakes.
Most states have stay-at-home orders in place, but Michigan’s order goes much further. Where do we draw the line? Other states are taking safety precautions without completely banning leisure activities and further disrupting businesses
I’m certainly not the only one with this opinion; others argue that Michigan has become an outlier. For the sake of my co-workers and friends still in the Show-Me state, I hope that Missouri does not follow Michigan’s path.