In a press release Friday morning, Governor Brown issued a travel advisory "recommending a 14-day quarantine for interstate and international travel" and "encouraging" Oregonians "to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries."
With this toothless recommendation, Brown joins Governors Jay Inslee of Washington and Gavin Newsom of California in a west coast effort to calm the big-ass Covid wave that is already smashing into our shores.
Brown noted that "hospitals across the West... [are] stretched to capacity." Inslee said "COVID-19 cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks," while Newsom noted "one million COVID-19 cases" in California "with no signs of the virus slowing down."
Indeed, in case this topic didn't come up at your Biden/Harris victory brunch party, ICU beds at referral hospitals in Utah basically reached capacity two weeks ago. Idaho is getting there, too—they're already turning away patients from Nevada. All of this, of course, was fucking predictable.
Instead of instituting a West Coast travel ban months ago, Democratic governors are now gingerly "encouraging" and "recommending" their way to max hospital capacities, all because the people who vote for Republicans refuse to exit childhood.
According to the latest Gallup poll, about 49 percent of Americans say they would be "very likely" to stay home for another monthlong lockdown, and another 18 percent say they would be "somewhat likely" to stay home. Back in April, 67 percent told pollsters they'd be "very likely" to stay home. According to Gallup:
Most of the decline in Americans' willingness to follow shelter-in-place advice is due to a sharp drop among Republicans — falling to 40% in Gallup's latest polling, from 74% in the spring. Democrats' willingness to stay at home has remained high, at 87% today versus 91% in March and April.
Democratic and Republican states refuse to act responsibly because they are essentially comfortable living with high numbers of preventable deaths in order to maintain the current economic structure, but also because imposing lockdowns and issuing strict travel bans without a firm majority of support—and without floods of photos and videos of overflowing hospitals to point to at the moment—will backfire.
These Republican children just won't listen to their Democratic nannies. They'll keep their gyms and their restaurants and their childcare facilities and their construction sites open no matter how many of their own friends, relatives, and strangers become ill. And because these children don't respond well to scolding, because the President super-charged their shamelessness, we must continue gently to "encourage" them to grow up. We must find some shiny keys to dangle in front of their faces. We must try to find 15 different ways to say the economy will tank until we control the virus as other countries have done, all while hospitals continue to fill with the sick and the dying.