OPINION | What possible loss of freedoms will be next?

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HAGÅTÑA — No clear-thinking person can honestly believe that this virus can be dealt with by home lockdowns, small business closures and similar behavior. Good leadership would have by this time been working to crack down on the critical sources of the spread.

It is no secret that incoming travelers, family gatherings, funerals, gambling, some other indoor gatherings that do not afford social distancing as well as drinking establishments are primary sources of the flareups.

However, short of the incoming travelers, clamping down on all the other activities will not very likely garner any politician the votes they need to get reelected.

This, added to the fact that as Dr. Thomas Shieh has said, follow the three Ws: "wear a mask, watch our distance, wash our hands." Too many people continually fail to follow simple mask, distancing and hand-washing guidelines that only complicates the entire issue.

A strong educational campaign coupled with better and more stringent controls would go much further to ensuring our medical system does not get overwhelmed. Doing this until there is a viable medical treatment for the virus or we achieve herd immunity.

Neither the governor nor this do-nothing Legislature has come up with a viable plan to flatten this outbreak and keep it that way while simultaneously not crippling the island's economy any more than it has been crippled already.

This latest extremely abrupt round of business closures that prompted the ensuing necessary layoff of more workers in the private sector of this economy has the vast majority of small —  unessential in the governor's eyes —  business owners wondering what possible loss of freedoms will be next.

All the while, this governor continues to allow government of Guam workers to supposedly work from home while drawing their normal, and at times additionally inflated, government wages.

Given the reality that there are around 11,000 government of Guam workers getting paid, and somewhere between 30,000-40,000 private sector workers — the majority of whom currently remain unemployed —  it makes these moves economically and psychologically disruptive for this larger group of residents.

This is simply not the way to be dealing with this virus considering this has now seriously adversely affected small businesses and resulted in certain businesses' closures.

Additionally, how many of the deaths to date have really been the result of Covid-19, as opposed to the accumulation of comorbidity issues with Covid19 —  such as serious flu —  being the last straw that led to the patient's death?

To me, all these actions are little more than scare tactics that politicians believe will help them keep people in line with their ill-conceived train of thought and efforts to maintain control.

My friend Ray Gibson sent me a note and asked that I share it with others so here it goes!

There are roughly 35,000 unemployed and underemployed voters. It takes 18,693 signatures to recall the governor and only 7,000 to recall the speaker of the Legislature.

I suppose his intent was to stir the pot for his radio show recently. It very likely will have the capability of doing so. I only recall one other attempted gubernatorial recall effort since I have been on the island.

That said, it is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility if this type of behavior on the part of the government is continued.


Lee P. Webber is a former president and publisher of media organizations on Guam and Hawaii, former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia, and a longtime business and civic leader on Guam.

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