By Missouri Senator Cindy O’Laughlin
The mainstream media has failed us on COVID19, but that isn’t a surprise. MSNBC and others have worked hard to fuel the flames with their fake news and sensationalism. They’ve shut down businesses, created chaos in the economy, and they have turned us against each other.
Even, as a rural State Senator, a local newspaper tried to shame me for saying, “stay-at-home” orders were unwise and unconstitutional. Today, we have nearly the same amount of cases, as we did, when my comments made front page news.
We have played it safe for long enough. Now, it is time to get Missouri working again. Otherwise, the government is going to have to make drastic cuts impacting every Missourian and the divide between the, “haves” and “have-nots” in our state, and the metro areas versus rural areas, will only widen.
Now is the time for resilience. If you’re vulnerable, stay home. If you’re not, then we have to keep working. I don’t think there’s anything more important right now than meat plants continuing to pack and ship beef, pork, and chicken to grocery stores. People need haircuts. Restaurants have to pay their lease. Churches need to pass offering plates.
The original intent of stay-at-home order was to not overwhelm our healthcare system. Mission accomplished. Our health departments, doctors, nurses, first responders, and everyone else in the healthcare industry has done an excellent job. Now, because of over-regulation and “protection” from the government “here to help,” many of our healthcare systems are closing, because of a lack of patients.
If you have a family member in a hospital you should be able to visit them or be by their side to encourage them. Contrary to what you might hear on the news, our hospitals are not being overrun. In Missouri, we have the China Virus under control. Medical professionals know how to take the proper precautions. Hospitals have taken orders from government in their “lockout policies,” and we know government isn’t supportive of anything except more divisive restrictions.
We should never need permission from our government to go out and support our local economy. Ever. I support President Trump and Governor Parson in their efforts to re-open Missouri. I am hopeful that this summer we will be enjoying baseball, and backyard barbecues with a little common sense of washing our hands and reducing hugs, handshakes, and high-fives.
We are in this together, but I think some of our politicians have gone too far. If we’re to listen to some of the experts, we are to never leave our home again. Most working people in Northeast Missouri don’t have the option of never leaving their house. We have bills to pay and people to see!
Our economy is opening back up. Please go out and support our businesses. Pause for a moment, before you “buy with one click” on Amazon. Is this product made in China? Is it something I can buy locally? Can this product be serviced by a local person, if it breaks down? That tire from Sam’s Club may be cheap, but they’re not going to fix a flat on your gravel road on the weekend like our local mechanics would. In many ways shopping local makes good sense.
In conclusion, please consider the appropriate role of government – even in crisis – and encourage elected officials to support common sense with individuals determining how that looks.
Let’s get out and support our local small businesses and Make America Great Again!
As always, I appreciate hearing your perspective on this and other issues presented in my weekly column. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-7985. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.