Tuesday, May 26, 2020

An Invitation From The Governor

For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God. While according to Scripture that leaves us all short, some people sin more than others. The Washington Post on Sunday reported

Vacationers flocked to the Lake of the Ozarks over the holiday weekend, flouting social distancing guidelines as they packed into yacht clubs, outdoor bars and resort pools in the Missouri tourist hot spot.

Images of the revelry rippled across social media, showing people eating, drinking and swimming in close quarters. In one picture shared by the news station KSDK, dozens of people could be seen crammed on an outdoor patio underneath a sign reading, “Please practice social distancing.”

If you build it, they will come; so too, if you encourage them.  Those partygoers are extremely irresponsible, and the media had a field day- actually, three field days- showing video to the disgust and ridicule of viewers, a convenient outlet for our moral outrage.  However, individuals do inevitably sin- or to employ technical terminology, many people are jackasses.  Put two and two together, human nature (or nurture) and a generally Republican state and region (apologies to residents of the city of St. Louis or Kansas City), and you have a recipe for disaster.

This one must not be on them.As The Post explained

After Missouri’s stay-at-home order expired May 3, Gov. Mike Parson (R) said a range of businesses, including large venues, could resume service as long as seating was spaced out to enforce social distancing. State guidelines mirror those issued by the federal government, instructing people to stay six feet apart when they are outside their homes.

Social distancing.  This is not Costco or Wal-Mart but the Lake of the Ozarks, where people shop out of necessity and don't expect to have a rollicking good time. What, pray tell, did Governor Parson expect state residents to do? They might have stayed home, in which case there would have been little benefit to opening such venues. Or they could have taken the governor's cue and come out in force- and neither would they, nor could they, practice social distancing.

The governor likely knew what to expect, for 

Many businesses around the Lake of the Ozarks closed in the spring when the pandemic hit. But as the state moved to reopen, they allowed guests to rebook reservations. Several hotels and resorts told local media last week that they were fully booked through the weekend.

In videos shared widely on social media, people could be seen lined up outside Backwater Jack’s, waiting to enter the already packed bar and grill.

The governor knew what would occur- or his staff completely failed him. Congregating by the hundreds without proper safeguards endangers the participants. But it especially endangers the friends, relatives and co-workers they have by now returned to. And if the latter contract Covid-19, that is to many Trumpists less bug than benefit, and misery loves company.

Governor Parsons realizes that. However, the show must go on, business must thrive, and greed also. "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil," the apostle Paul wrote, and "some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

One governor, one foolish decision, and people will die as a result. Let's place the blame squarely on the individual most responsible.

 "A pandemic couldn’t cancel America’s most crowded parties this Memorial Day weekend," another Washington Post reporter wrote. But it could have, and would have= at least in Missouri- if only the state's chief executive had assumed the responsibility he should have. 

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