The COVID-19 Shutdown
Helping La Mesa Businesses Revive and Thrive Post COVID Shutdown.
COVID-19 is the first time in world history, healthy people were quarantined and citizens basically put under house arrest. The months-long, government-mandated shutdown stripped millions of Americans of their most fundamental right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and just about everyone's 1st Amendment right to assemble (exceptions made for protestors and rioters).
From Day One, Laura felt as a free society, the strategy should have been to protect the vulnerable but let life go on for everyone else as normally as possible. If one want to patronize a restaurant, bar, hair salon, gym, spa or movie and the owners and staff of those industries want to provide those products or services, then that should be allowed. Conversely, if people want to shelter in place, they should.
BUT, the argument goes, the lockdown was issued as an emergency and a way to “slow the spread” and not overwhelm the hospitals. Slowing the spread prolongs the length of the pandemic and when it became clear hospitals were not going to be overwhelmed (they were underwhelmed and many people missed other critical care), the lockdowns should have been lessened or ended.
It is valuable to know the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is close to zero for children and younger adults, reaches 0.4% at age 55, 1.3% at age 65, 4.5% at age 75, and 15% at age 85.
This is a manageable public health problem. Much of the media has created pandemic panic (if it bleeds it leads) and their reporting has many conflating number of cases with number of deaths. People would be well served to get their Corona Virus information from sites such as the CDC's.
Risks are inherent in life. Every moment people make cost-benefit analyses when they drive, fly, have surgery, walk down a flight of stairs. Government cannot protect its citizens from every danger. Laura strongly believes individual liberty and personal responsibility make for better lives and a better society.
Laura would like to see California cities, including La Mesa, seek more autonomy from Governor Newsom's more capricious orders like shutting down parks when common sense and medical experts tell us fresh air and sunshine (Vitamin D) are the best natural disinfectants.
It is outrageous, California's administration continues to allow protest crowds but bans large groups from enjoying weddings, funerals, movie theaters, restaurants, retail shopping and bars; attending or singing in church; students going to school and house parties. Additionally, the state is fining individuals and businesses anywhere from $25 - $10,000 for noncompliance of COVID rules.
As a member of the City Council, Laura would fight for regulatory/permit relief, reduction in business license requirements and fees, making permanent the temporary use of outdoor spaces for dining and shopping, free parking meters the rest of the year, temporary sales tax reduction - anything that helps La Mesa's businesses reopen and thrive.
The businesses are hurting and the public misses them. Homelessness - another big La Mesa issue - is lowered when businesses are hiring.
As a huge proponent of personal freedoms and a business-friendly member of La Mesa's City Council, Laura's first priority would be:
HELP BUSINESSES revive and thrive during the shutdown and post shutdown.