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Hampering COVID-19 Restrictions Is a Mistake That Will Cost Lives

We're in the middle of a pandemic, people!

People wait in line to get COVID-19 vaccination at Yankee Stadium.

Legislative efforts to rein in governors trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 are intensifying during a time where we need more restrictions. COVID-19 has killed more than 450,000 United States citizens as of now. But for some, that number is of little to no consequence because they think that their rights are being trampled on. Yes, you read that right. Conservative groups are rallying together to limit the emergency executive powers of governors across the country instead of saving lives.

This isn’t something new. Ever since the pandemic started, many have been skeptical about the reach that any government official has to stop the spread of COVID-19. All 50 states, in an effort to save lives, have implemented restrictions to businesses, restaurants, and public gatherings. Things like concerts, going out to dinner with a group of friends, or simply going to the movies has become a thing of the past. And that definitely ruffled the feathers of those who want to just go on with their lives like nothing is happening.

All of these restrictions have been implemented in an effort to save lives, including those who think that COVID-19 is a hoax or being blown out of proportion. Less public gatherings equals less chances of groups getting COVID-19 and spreading it to their friends, family, and loved ones. It’s also a measure to decrease the amount of people who get sick and have to then go to hospitals, where they are continuously struggling under the weight of too many patients and not enough beds.

Keeping all that in mind, I personally don’t understand why or how Republic legislators are coming together to restrict the power of governors in a time where we need life saving measures. They want to cut the amount of time that governors have in declaring a state of emergency down to 30 days, for example, instead of the time they deem necessary based on scientific evidence. That throttles the power the state has in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and puts lives in danger.

Oh but it gets worse. The proposed restrictions on governors will also stop them from issuing new orders that are “substantially similar to the one that expired.” Do people not understand that we’ve been in a pandemic for over a year now? Do people not understand that things can get worse? Do people not understand that 20 days or 30 is not enough time to address COVID-19 issues and stop the spread? Do they not understand that as awful as 450k deaths are, we’d have had even MORE if they had limited governors like this from the start? Apparently not.

And I get that people are tired, that they want to go out, and that they want to see their friends again. But wouldn’t you want your friends, family, and loved ones to be alive? Because this isn’t about rights being trampled. This is about putting lives in danger because some don’t think this is serious enough of a situation to warrant further restrictions. It is dangerous and we will lose even more lives to COVID-19 if Republicans don’t stop their damaging efforts in opposing life saving measures nationwide.

(image: Michael M. Santiago/Getty)

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Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.