We can't outweigh the health risks of the virus with the economic risks of isolation. They are both serious risks, but we need to re-evaluate our response plan for future emergencies.
COVID-19: A HEALTH + ECONOMIC CRISIS
Peter believes Governor Wolf has acted wisely in his response to the COVID-19 crisis. His phased-in approach to the stay-at-home orders was patient, timely, and evidence-based.
HOWEVER, the waiver process allowing some companies to open should have been more efficient and transparent. The Governor, the Legislature, business leaders, the Department of Community and Economic Development, and public health officials should have been more involved in the process.
PEOPLE OVER POLITICS
It is unfortunate that Harrisburg has descended into a nest of partisan ugliness. As your State Representative, Peter will work with others, to put peoples' lives over political gains.
On a personal level, Peter's mother lives in Italy and his best friend manages an assisted care facility in Seattle. He knows health care workers and has friends who have fallen ill or who have lost patients to the virus.
Through them, Peter sees both the danger of the current response and how a sustained effort that places personal and public safety first actually pays off.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
On the economic level, we have to understand that there is no tradeoff between health and economic performance. One requires the other.
Common sense tells us that healthy people don't miss work, they don't quit, and they are more productive.
If a workplace can't control the virus, then people will get ill there, turnover will be high, and productivity will falter. We have already seen this in some sectors of the economy.
We are called upon to place a high value on human life, especially those who are the weakest among us: our grandfathers and grandmothers, the disabled, and the very young.
Let's work together to put in place adequate safeguards for re-opening the economy.