As we’ve said before, Gov. Doug Ducey has caught it from both ways as he has sought to lead Arizona through the pandemic of 2020. Now a state legislator, Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, is pushing a resolution that would strip away Ducey’s March 11 emergency order for dealing with COVID-19. While some of the restrictions Ducey imposed have expired, the crisis isn’t over yet.
The initial stay-at-home order for many people, even though it had exceptions, did cause much economic harm. However, it no doubt did slow the spread of the coronavirus and came at a time when many experts thought COVID-19 might have been even more deadly than it turned out to be.
Many people were put out of work for an extended period, and businesses suffered, especially in the hospitality industry. Some closed permanently. Now, many people have received help appropriated by Congress, and much of life is closer to normal, although caution still is important.
It is true that some states have had restrictions that were too stringent. Bureaucrats who are still getting paid have shut down economic activity that has led to real suffering, including many unpaid bills. Despite much criticism leveled at Ducey, he has sought to walk a fine line between controlling spread of the disease and causing too much harm to employers and employees.
Ugenti-Rita makes a point that more decisions should be made by the Legislature. The legislators, including some newly elected, will start a new session within weeks. They no doubt will consider relevant legislation. However, there has been an upturn in virus cases nationwide, and Christmas and other holiday gatherings may make that worse. Masks and social distancing are even more important now than over the past year.
Vaccines are being administered, and that will bring much improvement in the coming months. It will take a while, but it could have taken years more without the work of drug companies and the government through Operation Warp Speed.
COVID-19 has been a disaster, and it cannot be explained through assigning blame to various people. For now, protection is gained through common sense, and that includes following rules set by state and local authorities.