Around the country, COVID-19 cases are spiking yet again as the United States deals with record numbers of positive cases as the pandemic continues on into its ninth month. The federal response to the pandemic has continued to be a general refusal to issue anything approaching nationwide mandates, leaving the decision to individual state governors and legislatures, who have by in large approached the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic divided across partisan lines.
In Michigan, governor Gretchen Whitmer has introduced the return of various restrictions in the state to once again try to slow the spread of the virus, including closing high schools, movie theaters, and indoor dining as we continue the cycle of imposing, lifting, and imposing restrictions again.
As has been the case for the entirety of 2020, the response to those mandates has been split with plenty of people being very vocal against the restrictions on gatherings. Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, is apparently among those as she went on a Instagram Live tirade in which she likened living in Michigan to a “dictatorship” because of the restrictions.
Kelly Stafford is over living “in a dictatorship that we call Michigan.” pic.twitter.com/ovGcoNkJ4j
— Evan Jankens (@KINGoftheKC) November 19, 2020
Unsurprisingly, not long after, she issued an apology noting she was just heated in the moment and loves living in Michigan.
In Michigan, like most other states, they are currently dealing with a record number of cases each week, with Thursday bringing 7,592 more cases and 134 deaths, with last week setting a fifth straight weekly record at 44,019 cases, per the Detroit News. The frustrations with public health mandates and restrictions on gatherings and dining have been consistent throughout the pandemic, in part due to the fact that when those restrictions are successful, they appear to be overreactions because case counts stay low. There has been an undoubted financial toll on workers and business owners across most all businesses during this period, particularly in the service and food industries that have opened and closed numerous times. It has been a disaster for small businesses and the working class, and the anger is undeniably justified.
The righteous fury tends to be misguided against mandates rather than towards the lack of federal response, however, particularly in the form of financial compensation to help float businesses and workers so that there aren’t the massive losses of jobs and businesses that we’ve seen. From the beginning, the pandemic response has been inconsistent and mismanaged, failing to provide for those who need it and the result is a ninth month of the restriction rollercoaster, with no end in sight until a vaccine comes available, because that’s just about all state governments are capable of doing.