Letters to the Editor

A State Shutdown May Be Needed
Dear Editor:
On Monday, I signed the online petition #ShutDownMass in the face of coronavirus after four days of spending countless hours  talking with health care professionals, the City administration and senior citizens. Hearing many thoughts and concerns, I decided Monday morning the time had come with great urgency that we need to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at every possibility including a state shutdown to limit public contact. To some this measure might seem like an overreaction but before we are able to understand the meaningful impact of this contagious disease, we need to bring in more testing so that we can test as many of the 6 million residents in Massachusetts as soon as possible.
Again, seeing Gov. Charlie Baker on Sunday put measures in place that all bars and restaurants be closed as of Tuesday March 17, it raises valid concern why we should not close all businesses to public involvement.
This would be a positive way to help slow down and keep people out of harm’s way. In my eyes, what makes one business less meaningful than another.
If we are encouraging social distancing, then lets either be all in or not at all. There are many ways to keep all of the essential businesses open and running with new protocols and procedures in place. This would lessen direct contact with one another. I believe the governor made the right call on allowing take-out from food businesses and I think we could do the same at supermarkets, pharmacies and other businesses by putting a pre-order system in place that would be available for pick-up only service. After seeing a young student contract the virus by getting an autograph from a basketball player, it should raise serious concerns that by touching
products and putting them back on shelves in stores and other facilities, the virus can easily pass from one person to another.
In closing, until we have the opportunity to meaningfully test here in Massachusetts, I strongly believe each one of us have a common obligation to keep our family, friends, and community safe. In the words of President
John F. Kennedy “Victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan.” I will continue to push for the betterment of our community and work with colleagues on the City Council, the DeMaria Administration, State Officials, health care officials and residents, so that together we can all get past this time of great uncertainty.
Michael J. McLaughlin
Ward Six City Councilor

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