Serving the High Plains

Governor edicts aren't helpful in combating virus

A few thoughts on the pandemic, the state’s latest directives, and being responsible for ourselves:

• The governor last week announced she’s relaxing more of her public health orders aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Most retail businesses can open again, with limits on capacity. Also, the governor says everybody has to wear a mask in public unless they’re eating, drinking or exercising.

To be clear, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s one-size-fits-all commandments have been irresponsible and devastating to small business owners who may never recover from her stay-home orders. If anything, she added to the problem of spreading the deadly disease by forcing consumers into fewer businesses across the state.

No doubt she was trying to “protect” us, but her gestapo tactics have instead inspired revolution and helped divide otherwise reasonable people into extremist political camps that are bringing our nation closer to civil war every day.

• That said, her orders as of today would be reasonable — even responsible — had they been presented from the beginning as simply good ideas (not edicts) with educated foundations provided by medical and economic experts.

There’s not likely a small business in eastern New Mexico that’s going to have a problem limiting customers to 25 percent of its fire-code capacity.

The standard is so low it may as well not even be a standard.

We’re only mad about it because the governor ordered it instead of suggested it.

• Wearing masks will represent the proverbial line in the sand. The fights we’ve already seen across the country will continue to escalate, mostly because crazy political sheep say “Make me,” and other crazy political sheep say “OK, I will.”

Police say they will not actually cite or jail anyone for not wearing a mask, but individuals may face stern words from law officers if they don’t ... whatever that means.

As always, private business owners should have the ultimate say in whether masks are required by their employees and/or their customers.

You don’t like a business’ rules, don’t shop there. It’s that simple.

• Allowing houses of worship to meet again, but only at 25 percent capacity with social distancing guidelines, will continue to effectively prevent some traditional worship services.

Again, the governor has chosen to impose her will on others when simply providing information about safe practices would have been just as effective.

People of faith tend to care about each other and those around them. Thinking people of faith will practice social distancing whether there’s a rule or not; the non-thinkers won’t be abiding by any government orders anyway.

• Bottom line: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has lost all credibility as a leader because she’s chosen to force her ideas on everyone, even in eastern New Mexico where COVID-19 numbers are far below the state average per-capita.

The other bottom line: Most of the governor’s orders — don’t gather in crowds, stay at least 6 feet apart, wear a mask for close encounters — are good ideas that just might save a lot of lives.

Maybe we should all just use our heads and do what’s right, no matter what government orders.

— David Stevens, Publisher