The recent COVID-19 crisis and the backlash against Governor Evers’ Safer at Home Order, has gotten me thinking…why do some of us not listen to the science behind such an order? The topics of reopening the economy, the financial losses that most of us are experiencing, and the complaint that Governor Evers has overstepped his authority are all crucial issues. However, I would argue that they serve as a distraction to what is really critical, controlling the spread of this virus so that our healthcare systems and our communities are not overwhelmed.
I would ask that each of us try to step back and take a look at this pandemic from a much broader perspective. This is not a virus that has only disrupted our lives in Northwestern Wisconsin, or even Wisconsin for that matter. It hasn’t just affected our entire country. This pandemic has and will continue to disturb the entire planet and all of its residents for the foreseeable future.
So, when I see people like Polk County Sheriff Waak, whom I presume is good and respected man, but not a scientist, publicly declare his dissent against the Safer at Home Order, I believe it goes beyond his right of free speech. To me, I hear such opposition as the equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Why? Because the consequences of not abiding by the what we know is the best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, social distancing, are grave and irreversible. When people in positions of authority, use their influence to spread misinformation in an area in which they have no expertise, it is not only a misuse of that power, but it is very dangerous indeed. I strongly encourage Sheriff Waak, and others like him, to remain calm and follow the advice of the experts for the greater good.