Written by Sebastian Acosta
San Diego County has shifted into Purple Tier— the most restrictive of Gov. Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy — as the county’s daily case rate has increased to 8.9 per 100,000 people. In compliance with state orders, many of the county’s businesses are required to cease their indoor operations.
El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, however, has said he would not punish businesses that defy the orders. He called the orders “unconstitutional” and an example of government overreach.
The motivation for his decision appears to stem from the harm the closure of businesses will cause to the community. People can’t afford to sit at home for months on end — they need to pay their bills and provide for their household.
“People are coming up to me saying, ‘We’re not going to close, if we close, we’re never going to reopen.’ And, ‘We don’t want to have issues with the county or state, but we need to feed our family, pay our mortgages’, and I understand,” Wells said.
El Cajon’s case rate is at 24.1, three times the limit for purple tier, but it makes very little sense to shut down the economy when the survival rate for those under 65 is above 99 percent. The advice of public health experts is of much value, but we cannot act as if they too hold ultimate authority over the issue of the economy.
A major problem with Newsom’s orders is that they suggest that people are unable to care for their own welfare and make their own decisions — just look at his Guidance for Private Gatherings.
“If you don’t like the fact that there’s a business open, don’t go in there. That’s fine, you don’t have to go in there. Don’t give into the temptation to control someone’s behavior and if you do, do it in a civil way” said Wells.
The majority of people understand the threat that COVID poses to their lives and the lives of their loved ones. We are all fully capable of acting accordingly, without the government forcing us to lockdown for months.
The restrictions for the county took effect Saturday at midnight. A protest has been planned for today at the County Administration Building.