I was shocked yesterday when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced, much to my dismay, that all gardening supply companies are being forced to shutter because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With all due respect to the governor, this is a wrong-headed move that will have negative ramifications on public health. People need to have options when it comes to putting food on their plate, now more than ever, and Whitmer’s order takes away a cost-effective way for people to feed their families during a time of great economic peril.
The more people can grow their own food, the less they will have to traverse businesses such as grocery stores. We should be encouraging self-sufficiency during this crisis, rather than forcing us to go to public places with so many different people for essential goods. Growing vegetables will allow people to stay healthy during the crisis and be better equipped to fight off the coronavirus if they are stricken with the disease.
The medical marijuana industry, which has been deemed an essential business, will be choked off by Gov. Whitmer’s order as well. There are thousands of patients who rely on marijuana for pain maintenance. It keeps Michiganders off of opioids and harmful prescription pills. Without the ability for suppliers to buy grow supplies, patients will have to pay higher prices or lose access to their life-saving medicine all together.
As a father, I can appreciate Whitmer’s concern to keep our families safe, but we have to be leery of losing our basic rights as well. According to the top experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the original models were wrong and the projections are going in the right direction. There is no longer expected to be millions or even hundreds of thousands of deaths. There are indicator that the worst is behind us.
This does not mean that we should necessarily turn the economy back on immediately. We cannot become arrogant. We should still practice social distancing. We should increase testing. We should encourage the wearing of masks. These are common sense measures that can protect us greatly. But shutting off the economy, particularly industries that improve people’s health and safety, is not the way to go.
We should be discussing ways that we can get back to work. We should start phasing out the emergency measures. We should not be pumping Michigan residents with fear. Mass hysteria has us on the precipice of losing our core rights. While we are all scared, we must not lose sight of what is important. The long-term consequences of these emergency measures could be an end of civil society forever.
When my relatives and other persecuted Chaldeans were in Iraq, they could not leave the house without terror. Terror that they would be punished if they did not follow Saddam’s edicts. Terror that they could not associate with others without permission from the state. Terror to freely assemble and demonstrate their basic political rights. We are seeing that culture develop in our state, and it is heartbreaking and tragic. The time to make a stand against this slide into tyranny is right now.
Please call Gov. Whitmer at 517-373-3400 and tell her to exempt gardening stores from her executive order and to begin restoring normalcy throughout the state. You can send an email to your public officials as well at this link.
Proprietor of Edenz Hydro & Garden Superstore