LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Irresponsibility Gone Viral

Although the United States has 4.3 percent of the world’s population, it now has 29 percent of the deaths (CNN report, May 18, 2020) as the coronavirus has raced back and forth across the country during just two months. With more than 1.5 million cases and approaching 100,000 deaths, we are still in deep trouble from this new plague.

Therefore, I was deeply chilled to wake up on May 14 to see videos of young adults in Wisconsin packing into bars across the state – from Port Washington to Platteville to West Allis – with no masks or social distances between the celebrating groups. 

Bars were encouraged by the Wisconsin Tavern League to open immediately after the Wisconsin Supreme Court, by a narrow margin, issued its order to end the Safer at Home policies that have slowed the spread of the disease in our state.

The virus has not gone away. It is silent and can be deadly. All the people cramming into these taverns to celebrate the lifting of “restrictions” go home to families and shop in grocery stores and other places where the asymptomatic virus they might pick up can be transmitted. It is just a matter of time before the virus takes hold in a more ominous manner.

How sad that the pandemic we all are suffering and have sacrificed for during the past two months is now viewed through a partisan lens. Taking the precautions issued by the Centers for Disease Control is often ignored and even rejected by impatient citizens who want their “freedom.”

We have been lucky to have our conscientious local government and county health officials respect COVID-19 by continuing safe policies. We all are now at more risk if groups of people resist following the safety guidelines as we open “The Door” to business as “unusual.”

Gretchen Farwell

Ellison Bay, Wisconsin