South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem urged South Dakotans to act responsibly by staying home voluntarily, rather than the state government having to mandate “shelter-in-place” order to keep the Wuhan virus at bay.
“I want to take a moment to ask each and every one of you to pause, to take a step back,” Noem said. “For South Dakota, we expect this to take many, many weeks; perhaps months to run its course.”
“Put down your smartphones, turn off your TVs, maybe go for a walk. Visit with your families, spend some time with them, call a loved one, just take a break. Focus on the good things you have in your life… My hope is that despite this situation, we all find a way to allow this to help bring us together.”
Noem made clear that while the virus is new, combating an outbreak is not.
“This is not an ancient plague. We have the knowledge and the resources of modern medicine that give us the tools to defeat this, as we have so many other illness that we have dealt with in the past, from polio, to the flu. Rest assured that we will do so,” Noem said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 18 states and 13 cities have instructed residents to stay home leaving one in three Americans told not to leave the house. In South Dakota, there have been 41 confirmed cases as of this writing. with one death and 13 recovered cases.
The directives have begun to take a devastating toll on the American economy, leaving bars and restaurants closed while millions of students are out of school for the remainder of the year.
Some have begun to openly question whether the solution to the Wuhan coronavirus prescribed by extreme social distancing and shutting down businesses will pose greater consequences for public health than the virus itself, especially given large gaps in the data guiding policymakers.
President Donald Trump said during a Fox News town hall on Monday that he wants to roll back social distancing measures to reopen the economy up by Easter on April 12.
“I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” Trump said from the Rose Garden.