What our governor’s reopening plan lacks – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

What our governor’s reopening plan lacks

Written May 9th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

At 5:52 p.m. Saturday, May 9, on Albany’s Broadalbin Street “promenade”: No human beings in sight.

Urgency. That’s what’s lacking in Governor Brown’s approach to restart the Oregon economy, a definite sense of urgency and certainty. There’s a plan, and there are criteria and sign posts, but the plan says nothing about allowing people to go back to work if those sign posts are missed.

On Thursday the Oregon Health Authority listed “The Three Health Signs We Must See to Reopen Oregon.”

Number 1 was that “we must see fewer Oregonians getting sick from COVID-19.” (The other two had to do with testing and tracing contacts.)

As it happens, the daily reports of new cases and deaths in Linn and Benton counties and statewide have not changed much since March 23, when Brown issued her order for people to stay home and for many retail businesses to close.

Take some dates at random. On April 15, the state reported three new deaths and 33 new cases. On April 26, four more deaths and 58 new cases. On April 30, two deaths and 64 new cases. On May 4, 64 cases, 14 presumed cases and no deaths. On May 9, 79 confirmed cases, 13 presumptive cases, and three new deaths.

There’s been no noticeable decrease. If this continues, despite the stay-home and social-distancing orders and wearing of masks, the end of various restrictions may never come. If it doesn’t come soon, in a big way, Oregon is committing suicide in order to control this illness.

As of Saturday, in our state of more than 4.3 million, there were 3,160 cases of COVID-19 and 127 deaths in which the coronavirus played a role, though how big a role may differ in each case and can’t be precisely known.

The governor says some of her restrictions may end as early as May 15 in counties that meet seven conditions, including a “declining COVID-19 prevalence” as number one. The other conditions are that the health region the county is in meets a minimum goal of so many tests, that the county has a sufficient contact tracing system and enough isolation facilities, that “statewide sector guidelines” have been finalized, and that the county’s region has enough personal protective equipment and the health care capacity to take care of any coronavirus spike.

Nowhere in that elaborate scheme is there anything that says: “And if any of these things can’t be achieved by this date, we’re gonna open up regardless. Because we can’t allow the coronavirus to kill our entire system, a system of citizens working to provide for themselves and to support the public services on which we all rely.” (hh)

16 responses to “What our governor’s reopening plan lacks”

  1. LARRY MARTELL says:

    Instead of preparing for this in February clueless Kate was shoving crap and trade down our throats. Now that she’s given herself total control she’s not letting go of the power.

  2. KJ Ullfers says:

    Using the state’s standards and explanation’s are we now going to shut down the state every flu season?

  3. Martha Flora says:

    All over the world, there is only one way to slow the virus: everyone wearing masks, testing freely available, following up on contacts and isolating those who test positive, and keeping our distance from others. When we get serious and do those things, we will beat the virus

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Were you were wearing a face mask and latex gloves while perpetrating this thoughtcrime?

    Only the Gov has the authority to prod the sheeple during this crisis. Not you.

  5. John says:

    She is following the science an there is excellent science being done. Working for 10 dollars an hour with no benefits and putting one’s life at risk is not worth it by any means. That is not pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, that is rebuilding in a smart way, that is sheer stupidity. We can do better than rushing back to normal. Normal is what got us in this mess in the first place.

  6. Ray Kopczynski says:

    This morning, the Oregonian had a good article about how it’s been working: https://bit.ly/2YRZJp8

  7. Anon says:

    Until we have a vacine, the vurus is going to run its course. Adaquate testing and contact tracing will help. To anyone who advocates for a continued shut down of our economy, I just have three questions. How long would you continue with the current status? How would you pay for it? How does this end?

  8. centrist says:

    Alas HH, some problems defy hard-date steps. This pandemic problem requires strategic thought and performance-based execution.
    The black/white thinking so loved by tactical thinkers won’t carry the day. This problem will take the gray processing of strategic thinkers who assign tasks to be executed by the tacticians.
    For those who want links to sources for the above, that can’t happen. Folks with addresses in various National Cemeteries taught lessons long ago.

  9. Bob Zybach says:

    The Governor’s edicts lack human compassion, good sense, logic, and ultimately the inability for the State to survive this nonsense. There is no science to what she is demanding, only a demonstration of her autocratic control over the minions. This is nuts. Hopefully the voters will be able to right this ship, but the power of the Portland Social Democrats probably won’t let them.

    Give me liberty or give me coronavirus! Or both. But put an end to to this costly house arrest and government overkill. The current strategy is severely crippling our rural communities and at no apparent benefit. Douglas County has had no deaths, one person in the hospital, 24 people who have contracted the virus with 18 full recoveries, more than 1400 negative tests, and the unnecessary closure of its schools, churches, parks, restrooms, “non-essential” businesses, and government facilities. Because Kate Brown can. This is nuts and hopefully a lesson is being learned. But probably not.

    • Leroy says:

      Well said Bob. There was a pandemic during the Woodstock concert 100,000 people died. No lock down no testing herd immunity solved the problem. This government overreach and capturing this virus and feeding it to family members until next flu season until vaccine manufactures who can not be sued for killing or maiming your loved on comes up with a poison slurry. We should have an option to take Hydroxychloriquine if we chose and no vaccine or no test and no apprehension if we refuse. I thing things are yet to get out of hand over this house arrest.

    • Rich Kellum says:

      I will take Hasso Hering’s standards for checking out facts over N Y Times anyday

  10. Scott says:

    Following safety suggestions doesn’t make you a sheep. Ignoring them does. Kate brown didn’t create the virus or the governments response. You wouldn’t hesitate to blame her for every death if she hadnt listened to Trump. Being patient is still a virtue. Instead of complaining, how about helping those who are struggling? Take a sad song and make it better.


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