Deserted Bourbon Street

Scoot: Worsening coronavirus through selfish stupidity

March 23, 2020 - 1:16 pm

Last week, Mayor Latoya Cantrell issued a stay-at-home order for the city of New Orleans - meaning that everyone was to stay at home unless going to the grocery store, the doctor, to exercise or walk dogs. And in the case of leaving home for any reason - everyone was asked to respect social distancing by staying at least 6 feet apart.

Yesterday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a similar stay-at-home order for the entire state of Louisiana. Governor Edwards warned that the state currently had the fastest growth of the coronavirus of any state or even country. Many believe that the massive gathering during Mardi Gras a few weeks ago has contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in New Orleans and across the state.

While on a walk to get out of my apartment for some exercise - I also walked through parts of the French Quarter that on a nice Spring Sunday afternoon would have been crowded with people drinking and partying in the streets and overflowing out of bars. But the videos I posted documented deserted areas with some businesses boarding up their windows and doors.

The sight of an empty Jackson Square and Bourbon Street on a Spring afternoon that would have invited thousands to be out enjoying the French Quarter and each other was as sad as it was creepy. It was obvious that something had taken over the city.

The sparsely populated areas of the suburbs lent to the reality that something strange and powerful had taken over - but the contrast of the empty streets in the French Quarter against the backdrop of the vision of what should be gave a stark and chilling sense that something was wrong.

We - the people - are asked to stay at home! That means stay at home! We can exercise, walk dogs, go to the grocery, doctor or any make any other essential trip - but that’s it. And still there are those who think the coronavirus is not a threat to them. Part of the defiance of the threat of the virus is rooted in a mentality that the disease will never get “me.” We all saw shocking video of brazen Spring breakers on Florida beaches that tell all of this that many of these people will spread the disease when the return home - only cause a setback to any progress that has been made to flatten the curve.

Americans don’t like to be told what to do. Fortunately, there are many Americans willing to serve their country and their community by heeding the warnings to stay at home, but those who are ignorant or stubborn will threatened the rest of us.

The effect of the sacrifices we are making now will not be realized for at least 10 days and potentially up to 2 weeks from now. I know we all want instant gratification for our sacrifices - but that will not happen with coronavirus.

In America, we are not often asked to make big sacrifices. That is what we are being asked at this time. Let’s be Americans first and serve our country and each other by staying at home and respecting social distancing.

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