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coronavirus in oklahoma

Kevin Stitt continues to ignore the inevitability of Coronavirus…

6:11 AM EDT on March 26, 2020

It looks like Kevin Stitt is sticking with his "Less Is More" / "I Think Everyone Is Overreacting" / "God Will Get Us Through It" approach to fighting the Coronavirus.

Yesterday, he announced a new "Safer at Home" plan that requires people from our "vulnerable" population – whoever that may be – to hunker down at home to avoid catching the Coronavirus, so everyone else can go about their normal lives and infect each other while visiting our state's "essential" businesses.

It's a step in the right direction at a time when healthcare professionals, scientists and mathematical models are telling us we need to take giant, urgent leaps.

Via The Oklahoman:

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday took greater steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19...

In an updated executive order, Stitt mandates all "nonessential" business in the 19 Oklahoma counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19 close for a 21-day period starting at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday...

Oklahomans over age 65 and those with and those with underlying medical conditions are required to follow Stitt's "safer-at-home" policy. Those Oklahomans will still be allowed to run "essential" errands like visiting the pharmacy or grocery store.

The governor also announced a statewide ban on all gatherings of more than 10 people. He also is imposing a 14-day moratorium on all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures, and non-emergency dental procedures.

So, what constitutes an essential business in Oklahoma? Well, just about every business in the state!

Although my personal view is that the same rules that apply to resumes and press releases should also apply to lists of essential businesses – one page is best, two will do, anything beyond that is too much – Stitt's team produced a comically long six-page list of all the types of businesses and industries that are deemed "essential."

That being said, there are a handful of down-on-their-luck, non-essential businesses that Stitt left out:

The "nonessential" businesses that will have to close in 19 counties include salons, movie theaters, gyms, bars tattoo parlors, spas and massage parlors. Restaurants will only be allowed to offer food and beverages to go. Pharmacies and grocery stores will remain open.

Man, this lockdown is going to be brutal for the sex industry. What are Oklahoma lawmakers going to do for fun now?! Patricia's have temporarily closed, massage parlors have locked their doors, and dancers at the Red Dog are stuck with too much glitter. Oh well, at least Hobby Lobby is an "essential" business so they can take it all back for a refund.

Anyway, at this point I've basically accepted that I live in right-wing state guided by theocrats who value their bias-confirming hunches and skeptical premonitions over the views of healthcare professionals and scientists, and that the Coronavirus pandemic will not be treated with any sincere sense of urgency in Oklahoma before it's probably too late. Practicing safe social distance measures, and determining what's truly an essential business, is basically left up to me. Screw the health and safety of others. Maybe that's how it should be anyway?

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