This afternoon the governor is expected to make recommendations regarding the “re-opening” of the state economy, possibly relaxing his stay-at-home order that's now been in effect since March 25.
We are writing ahead of today's briefing, which is a risky business — but hardly half as risky as would be the governor's giving in to the whims of the more-quirky members of the GOP legislative caucus.
They would jeopardize the health and well-being of a 94-year-old woman just so some of their constituents could again belly up to the bar and drink away their afternoons.
No one wants to see a return to normalcy more than The Sun-Commercial, but not at a cost of more suffering.
Indiana as a whole has tested but 1.5% of its population for the coronavirus, and of that group roughly 1 in 5 has tested positive for COVID-19.
Locally, less than 1% of the county's population has been tested; less than 7% of these tests returned positive, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data available as of our writing.
Neighboring counties are faring worse, with 14% of those tested in both Daviess and Greene counties testing positive, while 10% of those tested in Sullivan County showed positive results.
Only 1% of the populations of Daviess and Greene counties have been tested; less than 1% in Sullivan County.
In Gibson and Pike counties, where infectious rates are lower, less than .5% of the populations have tested positive.
With so few tested, on what possible basis could officials think it conscionable to ease up on social distancing?
And, to make matters worse, those test results aren't as accurate as we were led to believe, their accuracy dependent on how well the test is administered.
Even if the economy were to be “re-opened” on a selective basis, what would that entail?
Knox County's infectious rate is lower than its neighbors to the north and east. But if county businesses were allowed to return to pre-COVID-19 hours, what would stop shoppers from those neighboring counties from coming here — bringing with them not just their dollars but the possibility of spreading the coronavirus among us?
Would we need to station armed guards at the county line?
These calls to rush ahead with “re-opening” the economy have much the same validity as the advice to drink Lysol to clean-out one's system and thereby avoid the coronavirus.
Patience in the face of adversity is the hallmark of leadership. We think of Kennedy's not giving in to the generals who advocated an invasion during the Cuban missile crisis, which most likely would have led to nuclear war with the Soviet Union — and mass destruction.
We hope the governor exercises similar patience with these numbskulls and their irresponsible demands that would put more Hoosiers at risk just for the sake of improving these politicians' chances for re-election.