Publisher’s Perspective: This is not working (Opinion)
Stay at home? We all know this order isn’t getting followed. One quick glimpse at the traffic leaving the basin on any given Sunday tells you as much.
Putting it lightly, “essential” obviously means different things to different people — and without any real enforcement it’s only going to continue. But, can it continue like this? Maybe. If it does, it seems like a boiling point is not far out of reach.
No matter what side you’re pulling from, you could compile a case — visitors are the backbone for many of our local businesses and visitors are also putting resources in jeopardy at a time when they really can’t be. The dichotomy is a tug of war with lives at stake — both literally and figuratively.
At face value, the stay at home order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom is a farce. Some people follow the rules, others try and find loopholes, and others just flat out ignore it all together. I’m not judging anyone that falls into any of those scenarios — I’m sure there are cases to be made across the board. But, we sure can judge the order and how lack of enforcement renders it moot.
You can’t issue a blanket order without having an infrastructure across the board that can manage the details. Just like you can’t ask a businesses to operate with one foot and one hand tied behind their backs without some type of compensation while asking them to also jump though a hoop by cutting off their main source of income (visitors).
You also can’t tell them to follow rules while visitors are allowed to defy them without any sense of punishment. If visitors can do what they want without any sense of enforcement, why shouldn’t businesses be allowed to? It’s confusing and frustrating.
The Constitution clearly says no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property. Yes, we are in a pandemic, but isn’t that what this order is doing? The order contradicts what they have been accustomed to getting as a citizen of this nation.
I understand the explanation for the creation of the regions in California. However, it doesn’t mean that they’re reasonable. Resources in one county aren’t the same as others. How can any one of them be charged with enforcing? Maybe there could be a greater emphasis put into the enforcement, but at what cost to other areas of focus for local agencies?
Resources everywhere are stressed and to add something like this order, and to make it effective, at least at this point in the game, is asking for nothing short of a miracle. We see the same thing happening right now in terms of the vaccination. The plans to administer were left up to the people who were already spread as thin as a sheet paper and now everyone is up in arms that we are behind schedule. Without additional help, what did they think was going to happen?
We all know Lake Tahoe is unique. It’s not the same as Sacramento or San Francisco or even Clearlake. The added complexity of having to juggle orders from two different states only fuels frustration for many. People can come and stay and play in Nevada, but most of them are coming from a place in California that’s telling them to stay within 120 miles from home. Those visitors being here are both good and bad and depending on your livelihood, you probably lean on one side or the other.
Needless to say, this isn’t working. We should have the opportunity for a plan that works for the basin — a plan that effectively balances the business interests on both sides of the state line as well as the health and lives of the people within the community.
I realize asking for something like that, you might as well be asking for the moon to be sitting in your stocking on Christmas morning. Not only that, it may have already been tried. If so, I don’t know to what degree. Yes, I’m aware both El Dorado and Placer asked the state for local control, which is a start. However, I’d imagine a plan created by all parties of interest is going to serve the communities better than what we currently have and might be more impactful.
We’re barreling towards an anniversary that nobody wants to celebrate. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, but for many, the distance to that light might be too far to travel. The least we can do is try to find a better solution that can help bridge that gap so that everyone can make it safely to the light together.Publisher
Rob Galloway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-542-8046.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A winter storm warning goes into effect Sunday afternoon and a flood watch lasts through Monday morning for Lake Tahoe with heavy rain and mountain snow in the forecast.