Just last week, the Dallas County Commissioners Court decided to extend their shelter-in-place, home, forced isolation mandate until May 20th. It was originally put in place at midnight, March 3rd. All over the nation, we are seeing forced isolation, and social distancing directives put in place as a means to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 spread. Some of these mandates are a tad more draconian than others, yet, none as bad as the “shoot on sight” order from President Duterte of the Philippines.
But have we seriously considered the collateral consequences of these mandates, albeit for the greater public good? I mean truth be told, we humans are indeed social animals, and we do enjoy open spaces, ya know, a little “elbow room” as Daniel Boone asserted. So, what happens when the walls begin to close in?
As reported by KPBS in San Diego:
“San Diegans, like everyone else in California, are under orders to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. While following these orders will save lives, others will be put at greater risk of domestic violence. The circumstances that are now part of everyday life — confinement at home, loss of employment, money worries, food insecurity, stressers [sic] which increase tension and anxiety, can lead to increased domestic violence. Apparently researchers found increased domestic violence during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recently in Wuhan, China, ground zero for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Law enforcement and advocates against domestic violence in San Diego are mounting an effort to address the increased risk, which can take several forms. Those include physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as stalking, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s office.”
Sadly, this is yet another of the collateral effects from this pestilence we are facing. If anything, we need elected officials to consider this and provide a means by which the walls do not close in on families. I have seen more people in our neighborhood here in Garland, Texas, out walking, and running. Some are even wearing masks as they run! But, we cannot shut off outdoor activity, we should be encouraging it. I would offer that we do get out, run, walk, ride bikes. Cities need to ensure our parks are open and trails are available. We are smart enough to ensure “social distancing,” at the same time, we do need the fresh air.
Instead of sitting at home and binge-watching the news, binge on the old shows on TVLand, or break out the board games. Get outside and throw the ball. Definitely six feet of separation can be maintained. I am befuddled as to why there are states that are shutting down gun ranges? What a great way to get out and maybe even have target shooting competitions. Shooting lanes create separation, especially outdoor ranges. Sadly, California is one of those states that have ruled gun ranges and stores cannot be open during these times, a clear indication of ideological agenda above citizens’ constitutional rights. As well, a great way to try to drive these small businesses out of business.
Parents, please, look at these times to draw closer as a family, not further apart. If there is one thing these times should allow us to do, it is reestablishing family time. Moms and dads, do goofy things with da kids and let them see that side of you. Now is a good time to do stuff like family recipes, but mostly, just conversation. The last thing we need is to have abuse in our homes, and policymakers must realize this.
Local elected officials, when you start creating these mandates and edicts, think through the pros and cons, the collateral effects. You do not want to create an even bigger crisis. In many ways, we have done just that. We have placed enough stress on Americans and their families. Seek out policies that alleviate some of the tension and anxiety that exists.
Bottom line: it is our responsibility, let God’s love shine through, and not the darkness.
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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s Fox News Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and the forthcoming We Can Overcome.