No man is an island — or should be. But what about a state?
Illinois certainly is an island, at least when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.
Says who? Says Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“I find that disaster exists within the state of Illinois, and specifically declare all counties in the state of Illinois as a disaster area.”
That’s 102 counties, including Champaign. But if there’s really an ongoing disaster, it doesn’t meet the eye.
Sure, the coronavirus has yet to disappear. And it won’t, according to medical experts
What started off as a mysterious pandemic in 2020 is now something akin to the flu. And, like the flu, people are well advised to protect themselves through vaccinations, particularly the elderly or younger people with co-morbidities that make them especially vulnerable.
But Illinois a disaster? How can that be when our six surrounding states ended their emergency declarations.
Wisconsin pulled the plug on its declaration in March 2021, Michigan in October 2020, Indiana in March 2022, Kentucky in March 2022, Missouri in December 2021 and Iowa in February 2022.
At roughly the same time the governor was extending his health emergency declarations on Oct. 14, a state order requiring the use of face masks in health care facilities expired.
Apparently it will be left to individual organizations to decide how to proceed. Christie Clinic said it will no longer require patients and staff members to mask up in patient areas, although there will be some exceptions.
OSF Healthcare and Carle Health announced they’re reviewing the situation.
But it would be no surprise if they embrace the Christie mode.
The old joke is that nothing could be finer than a crisis that is minor, and the same thing applies to medical emergencies that really aren’t.
So what’s going on with Pritzker, who takes pride in his status as among the most aggressive governors in the nation when it comes to addressing the pandemic?
Lockdowns, stay-at-home rules, business closings and masks, masks, masks were the standing orders emanating from Springfield. Those were reasonable steps in the early days of the pandemic — March 2020 and some months thereafter.
But once risks were properly measured, vaccines were produced and safety measures properly implemented, the deadly pandemic began to fade.
People still get the coronavirus, but the number of hospitalizations and deaths has sharply declined.
So why are the people of Illinois marking nearly 1,000 days under the governor’s declaration of a 102-county disaster area generated by a medical emergency?
The governor has said he’s motivated by the desire to continue to collect federal funds that go to social services. So it’s a money grab driven by financial self-interest and based on a questionable claim?
Illinois can use the money. Short-term cash flow is OK, but in the long term the state is a financial basket case.
Abuse of public money is no different, whether it’s an individual exploiting the state’s welfare system or a governor doing the same thing to the feds. It’s time to knock off the monkey/money business.