We are not ‘one Michigan’ in our attitudes about coronavirus

So let’s see if we have this straight.

Your dog can get a haircut, but you can’t.

Your cat can get a manicure, but you can’t.

And here’s the real kicker, some of the folks up north can get a beer, and you can’t.

Houston, we have a problem.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Covid-19 fighter-in-chief, lifted the restrictions on some of the businesses in the state this week which must have set off a collective cry of, “This ain’t fair” from all those who can’t do the stuff listed above.

“How come somebody in Traverse City can eat out on the porch and have a brew-ski while I sit down here in (name any town you want) and can only watch?”

It’s all about the numbers.

The Upper Peninsula and the Traverse City regions don’t have as many cases of that pesky-killer virus; they don’t have as many folks in the ICU; they don’t have as many deaths, and the only thing other parts of the state can say is, “aren’t they lucky.”

But here is the good news. If the citizens in these two regions play nice, they may pave the way for the lifting of restrictions for the rest of us. That means wear your mask, stay six feet apart (no sitting on bar stools to pick somebody up), don’t gather in groups larger than ten, and for gosh sake, don’t get all “squirrelly” as the governor warned the other day.

“Don’t descend on Traverse City this holiday weekend,” she warned the rest of the state last Thursday as people prepared to descend on T.C.

Those two regions are now on a two week watch list. If the virus cases stay low after this new loosening of the rules, it means this can be done elsewhere with a reduced risk of a “second wave” which the governor has nightmares about.

“We’ll have to dial back,” she warns if the rules are broken and more cases pop up. Dial back means back to your room and stay there till I tell you to come out.

Of course all this comes at a time when many businesses are on the ropes and many of their customers are deep into week ten of severe cabin fever, and with human beings being human beings, they are severely tempted to ignore the precautions and let-er rip.

The polling data on this is pretty revealing.

How about the gender difference on masking up? About 89% of the women are all in, 79% of the men wear them, and 8% say they do sometimes.

How about the people who think this whole virus thing is exaggerated? 70% of those calling themselves strong Republicans believe it is blown out of proportion while only 5% of the Democrats feel that way.

How about those protests on the capitol lawn? Do they send the right message? 51% of the strong R’s say yes, while 70% of the independent voters say no.

And this eye-opener — 58% of the GOP men are not as concerned about the virus, while 77% of the GOP women are.

Just as we are a state divided by regions, now it appears we are not One Michigan in our attitudes about the virus and how we should act regarding our personal freedoms. Some are willing to suspend some freedoms, while others defiantly will not.

Obviously the virus will have the last say on who is right.


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