Opinion | Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order needs common-sense changes

Senator Mike Shirkey is the Michigan Senate Majority Leader.  He represents the 16th state senate district comprising Jackson, Branch and Hillsdale counties.

Today in Michigan, residents can buy marijuana, but they can’t get flowers.  They can purchase lottery tickets and liquor but can’t pick up paint for their homes.  They can buy propane for outdoor grilling, but they cannot buy a new grill. They could buy candy for Easter baskets, but cannot support Michigan growers who are the No. 1  producer of Easter lilies. The governor encourages citizens to exercise outdoors but they cannot pay someone to cut their lawns. People can kayak or canoe but are prohibited from using a motorboat.  The list of absurdities in the governor’s order is long, and unlike our gardens, it’s growing.

Last week, Governor Whitmer extended her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and imposed further restrictions on our movements and freedoms.  The Senate Republicans have heard from citizens across Michigan who understand the need to protect public health and safety, but struggle to understand the decisions coming out of the executive office that seem to make little sense.

Weeks ago, the Senate Republicans raised concerns with the disparity between large retailers with garden centers (Home Depot, Lowe’s etc.) that could remain open under the governor’s order and small businesses that were forced to close because they only sold garden materials.  We suggested common sense would dictate that our locally owned businesses be allowed to safely remain open and compete with the chain stores. Governor Whitmer’s answer was to force large retailers to place “caution” tape around planting materials and prohibit Michiganders from purchasing plants for their gardens. 

Senate Republicans have worked hard to find ways to support our governor over the past several weeks.  We have offered input and suggestions for ways to improve the series of orders that have altered citizens’ lives and their livelihoods.  Some very modest suggestions were taken, but when it came to getting people back to work smartly, we were largely ignored. We are not looking to be pandered to and neither are our constituents.

COVID-19 will persist in Michigan long past the end of the month.  We have adopted new behaviors to defend ourselves against the virus: handwashing, social distancing, and wearing masks will be our new normal long past April 30.  These new behaviors are long-term changes to daily life and must be embraced as our primary weapons against COVID-19. While our citizens focus on responsible personal behavior, government should be focused on making decisions based on risk and safety, not arbitrary definitions of “essential” versus “non-essential.”

Governor Whitmer believes that one size fits all. But just like the weather can be vastly different in Detroit than it is in Houghton, so too are the realities of this virus. The governor should make common sense revisions to the new stay-at-home order that make health the top priority while recognizing different geography and different business types. Revisions demonstrate trust in the people of Michigan to safely return to work.

 We are asking all citizens to contact Governor Whitmer and let her know Michiganders want to see common-sense changes made to “Stay Home, Stay Safe.”

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission.

If you are interested in submitting a guest commentary, please contact Monica WilliamsClick here for details and submission guidelines.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


Sun, 04/12/2020 - 2:44pm


abe bubush
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 11:09am

Shirkey never misses an opportunity to pettyfog a serious issue with anecdotal pandering.

THE FACT IS, Michigan is failing to contain the virus. Even more drastic steps may be required.

Sat, 04/18/2020 - 2:58pm

What’s pettyfog? It’s pettifog

abe bubush
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 12:16pm

Shirkey never misses an opportunity to pettyfog a serious issue with anecdotal pandering.

THE FACT IS, Michigan is failing to contain the virus. Even more drastic steps may be required.

Sat, 04/18/2020 - 3:03pm

What’s pettyfog?
It’s pettifog

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 2:44pm


Karen Dunnam
Sun, 04/12/2020 - 2:50pm

Oh please. Nothing this guy says can be taken seriously after his speech in Hillsdale.

Union brother
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:52am

He won't stop until everyone's making minimum wage. He is a leech on the state.

Dennis Haffey
Sun, 04/12/2020 - 3:05pm

The stay-at-home order should permit not just what is deemed “essential” but also permit activities that can be performed safely. And the order should assume general compliance, rather than impose overly strict provisions on the rationale that “otherwise” some people will act unsafely. Finally, the order should vary geographically, and permit some activities outstate that might not be safe in a hotspot like Metro Detroit.

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 11:18am

Sure that sounds good, but then everybody from downstate will run up north to get their items.

carol weber
Sun, 04/12/2020 - 3:33pm

She is putting all the small family businesses out of business. I agree with everything you have stated. Businesses can make accommodations to keep their employees and customers safe.
She clearly is not thinking about the people.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:40am

Hahahahaha! That is hilarious! Stupid, but funny..."she is clearly not thinking about the people". Hahahahaha...oh, you were being serious. Yikes...

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:53am

You are dangerously ignorant.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:43pm

It's not ignorant. It's whitmers zealous servant

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 4:13pm

Well written. Not sure her decisions "arbitrary definitions of “essential” versus “non-essential.”" We need servant leadership in times like these; not political grandstanding and punishment. Her reasoning about motors on boats is absurd. Only people using motors on boats in Michigan this time of year are fisherman. Guessing most also own firearms and many are members of the NRA. I hypothesize that a large percentage of green house growers in the state are located in West Michigan, not a hotbed of Whitmer support. The one I can not understand in the paint deal. Where I live you can buy solvents, painting supplies, but no paint. Mike - does she have a grudge with Sherwin-Williams or PPG?

Shawn Pierce
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 6:14pm

Well said. As for the grudges...I think she has them against most Michiganders because she realizes she is not well received and won't likely be re-elected.

abe bubush
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 12:22pm

She will be resoundingly re-elected.
Paint purchases are popular weekend activities at HomeDepot and hardware stores, where significant time is spent interacting with the technician. You can wait.
Greenhouse retail sales are minuscule compared to wholesale, and at retail involve extensive browsing and shopping. They will keep.
Go ahead and make a comprehensive list of what YOU decide is essential for everyone. I'm sure we will all have a good laugh.

Geoffrey Owen
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 8:29pm

Well stated. Common Sense he says, is running around satisfying our hobbies and desires. Common Sense to me is getting to the other side alive. Michigan spiked again today. We have the highest death rate in the nation at 6.53% of those infected, and even higher in Oakland County. In the past month of essentials my most horrifying moments were spent passing through the paint department at Home Depot. Everyone crowded around the counter and the paint tech coughed loudly into the air. I did get a gallon of porch paint, but I took it home to stir and walked out the other end of the aisle. You can't see it and then you get it. But some of us just don't get it at all.

John S.
Sun, 04/12/2020 - 4:26pm

Uncertainty is not the same as risk. With the latter, one can assign probabilities. This virus is all about uncertainty since it is not even well-known how the virus is transmitted--it may be transmitted simply by an infected person breathing in and out. There are a number of essential workers in the metro area who have caught the virus and died. Until the uncertainties become risks, through further information and analysis, the actions taken by the governor seem to be reasonable. An N-95 mask may protect, but I don't have one and most people going about their ordinary business don't either. As of yet, there is nothing apart from social distancing that can be called "sensible."

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 4:49pm

So what do you want ? To keep adding and adding to the list ? If your going to do that, you might as well forget the whole thing. People increase traveling to do all of this, which increases virus spread and exposure. Our good Republican representative seem to forget the whole idea is to cut down to a minimum the amount of interaction.. Food is a necessity and there’s practically no other way to get it to the individuals, going out for entertainment, home recreational improvements and beautification or, to go golfing, and to encourage more public and business activities negates any progress you made from social distancing . Do we suffer economically,? Of course it does, but that’s not the point , the virus transcends any of this, it has no morals and knows no walls. I applaud Whitmer for her actions, We need to minimize things, and she has to draw the line somewhere.

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 7:13pm

If food is a necessity (which it is) then why are grocery store workers who work indoors (often within six feet of each other and customers) not required to wear masks? Why was that not in the order that closed nurseries (which sell plants that grow into food) which are outdoors, where it is easy to stay six feet apart? Common sense seems to be lacking in this decision.

Nick Ciaramitaro
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:28pm

New York has just amended its order to require any essential workers to wear certain protective gear and to allow a business to deny service to anyone not wearing a mask.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 3:05pm

They will be, very soon. Is it even possible for you to believe that there is a logical, common sense reason for every choice made in the Executive Order?

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 8:40pm

Have you been to a nursery at the beginning of the season? It's a swarm of excited gardeners!

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 7:25pm

I agree Ben. Are there provisions of this order that affect my family and I adversely? Yes. Are there provisions that interfere with my preferred outdoor activities like tennis and boating? Sure. We can all find ways to split hairs on this order, but the essence is to limit exposure. We can all find ways to criticize a leader's decisions, but at least she is leading, unlike at the national level.
The republican objection is purely to score political points.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:15am

Thank you Ben.

Union brother
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:58am

Right on!

Mike S.
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 10:42am

I don't agree dlb, dimwitmer has overstepped her authority. Once she's tasted the power she can't stop herself. If she'd have actually been up to par, as the federal government was, and took steps earlier by isolating the SE side of the state we would be in a much better place than her draconian and downright Stalinist abuse of power to subjugate us all to isolation is at best a political stunt of "look at me what I'm doing". And it's only gotten worse since rumors are flying around she might be quidy joes VP running mate, provide joe doesn't forget.
She is an abject failure in this and her tenure as governor.

Wed, 04/15/2020 - 1:02pm

All of your comments are purely subjective. Just because you fear the misuse of power doesn't necessarily mean that Whitmer is misusing power. I feel sorry for Republicans who have drunk the Koolaid that the pandemic is no big deal. I empathize with those of us who are struggling financially but you have to live to enjoy any financial gain that would be made by lifting restrictions. Opening up too soon will only lead to more deaths and the next one could be yours if you're not self-isolating, washing your hands regularly and staying out of public places.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:52pm

Her objective is to get re-elected or get a VP nomination. Don’t be fooled, this is all politically motivated. And when was the Governor the center of this much attention. Sometime-between now and never. She wanted this to be extended until June.

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 10:33pm

She's about to hear from quite a few voters.

Kevin Grand
Sun, 04/12/2020 - 11:00pm

This piece is a joke, right?

The Michigan Senate had the opportunity to put the brakes on Gov. Whitmer's destruction of our state when they were in session last week.

The Michigan Senate was in the perfect position to tell Gov. Whitmer that her 28-days of terror was over and that she will NOT be getting any extension.

But, what did Sen. Shirkey do?

Last week's session essentially consisted of a VOICE VOTE, not a roll call vote in which there is an actual record of how people voted, granting Gov. Whitmer an extension of her "emergency" and then sent everyone home AFTER MEETING FOR 13-MINUTES!

Governor Whitmer has frequently reminded everyone that her orders are meant to be obeyed without question...or else! We have police stopping vehicles leaving shopping centers looking for contraband purchases. We have police helicopters circling communities looking for people associating with one another. We have the DNR harassing people doing nothing more but trying to have a relaxing day on the water. Subordinates don't tell their boss what to do. Try that tactic with your boss and see how long you remain employed afterwards.

Now Sen. Shirkey has the realization that what the governor is doing is wrong (which it is...along with being blatantly unconstitutional), but that it's now up to US to contact the governor's office to stop it???

No wonder our state is in the serious trouble it's in right now!

West Michigan
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:06pm

Thank you. Anyone that says, "WE NEED TO GET THE REPURBLIDERPS BACK IN THE GRVERRNERRZZ HOUZE!" are completely ignoring that they've allowed this idiocy to continue.

People are pissed and they're pissed at everyone in Lansing.

jeannette faber
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 8:43am

Reasonably thought out, well articulated piece devoid of any extreme political opinion.

Mark salawage
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:38am

Why is it that no one will acknowledge that a state lockdown has far worse consequences from loss of work,metal depression,increase of domestic violence,drug and alcohol abuse and surely much more in the long run take and ruin many more live .but as long as we save one person from covid19 governor whitmer thinks that ok

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 8:06pm

Look to the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. Cities that were more proactive in preventing the virus were much quicker to recover after the crisis than those that did not. But hey, we know it's all about money; human lives are worth remarkably little these days, as you and your ghoulish cohort have consistently demonstrated

Justin Shaum
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:14am

It's time for or representative to step in and put a stop to this!

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:26am

How is a uber driver can get 1000 a week for not working I am a essential worker making paper plates and we don't even get recognized for working close not to each I understand we are not front line workers just as a uber driver or some of the other companies still open in the this so called great state

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:26am

Let's do more.

If the governor wants to shut down business and have citizens staying home without pay.
How about she is included in that.
How about the governor and the state representatives forgo any and all pay until after all the people she puts out of work get their jobs back.

What about all the famers who can't sell their crops, or milk. They won't be in business very long.

Can we as citizens in Michigan demand that she lives like her citizens in Michigan and pay a mortgage and bills and for food for their families after losing their jobs and now on unemployment making less than 400 per week.

But for the 1% of those that will get this and die we need to hurt the other 99%

A Fan
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:08pm

This is correct. Every legislator and mayor and governor should NOT be paid for as long as they ever try to issue a stay at home order.

Let's keep this crap from ever happening again.

Richard E Crawford
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:28am

Since the governor has essentially seized my second home, the state must now be responsible for the maintenance of the property. The state must be responsible to make sure my home isn't vandalized during my prolonged absence. Since I'm forbidden to use my property it is now the state's responsibility to bear the cost of fire, theft, and liability insurance. And the property tax cost must also belong to the state. Since the governor's abuse of power has caused this property crisis, what is her solution? Time to reign in this politically ambitious tyrant!

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 1:54pm

Maybe you need to be grateful that your family is healthy!!

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 6:57pm

I doubt you will find most folks sobbing over your hardship with two homes. #getagrip

Union brother
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:47am

Shirkey is a joke

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:51am

Whitmore's ignorance is despicable, she has no common sense like several political leaders who are financially secure doesn't have a clue how average people live. We are not a socialist country. Whitmore needs replaced immediately.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:55am

We need to impeach her . Poor leadership skills and blaming the feds for what local state government issues that fall on Her Position. That is the point of our country setup, the states control themselves within the guidelines of the Federal government.

This stay at home order is just dumb, I can pick up a bundle of shingles from Home Depot to fix a leaking roof at my house but someone can go have an abortion. I can't buy seeds to start my garden but people got by pot. I can't ride my motorcycle but can ride a bike??!?!?!?

When you try to control someone's life you run in to this crap. I'm all for the stay at order to a point to protect our older generation and people health issues, but you just can't shut down a state.

I can't even find toliet paper or bread....

Typed on mobile , sorry for spelling and Grammer issues.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 10:05am

We should absolutely be restricting activists on the basis of essential vs unessential. People are much more concerned about changes to their lifestyles than their health and safety. If everybody just stayed home and limited activities to those that are truely essential we could limit the risk to our doctors, nurses and other essential workers.

Sara Basso
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 10:17am

Thank you Senator Shirkey! We live in a depressed area (western upper peninsula) where people depend upon their gardens. Fortunately, Wisconsin borders our county and we will be able to drive there for our vegetable seeds and garden supplies. Unfortunately, this doesn't help our local businesses.

Mike S.
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 10:32am

Dimwitmer is the reason there are more infected than there should be. If she hadn't jumped on the dis Trump train and complained for two weeks about stuff she got but lied about and help she got and lied about plus not shutting down and isolating the SE side of the state we would be probably back to work right now. She, like most democrats, is an abject failure!

Jake K.
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 10:51am

Even though Mr. Shirkey is a motivated party partisan, his comments carry validity. Why are people allowed to gather around the lottery terminals or peruse wine sections or personally visit and mingle in liquor and similar type beverage stores? Why is my local bike shop not allowed to perform service activities? Why are common elective surgical procedures not allowed but "family planning" abortions are? Why did the Governor taint her recent extended S-I-P announcement with politically motivated comments about the inner city challenges of low income, unemployment and health challenges, leading to a task force assignment for Mr. Gilcrist to address? Pandering to a select voting base? Campaigning for other elective office? It's a shame that the SARS-Covid-2/Covid-19 challenge can't be addressed for what it is, without politics taking root.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 1:46pm

Witmer's & particularly Nessel's behavior during this time has been appalling. Their shameless politicizing of the situation and comments are disgusting. I look forward to voting them out of office ASAP.

Cheryl Machuga
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:01am

I dont think stores should be open to the public everything is ordered and picked up or delivered or this spread will never end.

Diane Johnson
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:03am

If Shirkey had his way the pandemic would have hit Michigan even harder.
The argument that the big retailers are the only ones benefiting from this is a load of bull, they have been ordered to block off non-essential areas and from what I've seen there are plenty of small businesses are opened and selling such "life sustaining" items as lawn fertilizer etc. For once people need to pay attention to the reality that this virus is easily spread even in rural areas where people don't recognize the danger because they aren't a large city and do their part to keep the spread down it isn't a forever thing and will loosen up soon.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 8:07pm

This is about saving lives. The Governor is doing a great job. This is a serious infection that doesn't discriminate. People are dying every day. This economy will bounce back just as it has in the past. Saving lives now is what is important. I realize businesses are suffering but people's lives are more important right now! It doesn't hit home until somebody in your personal circle gets infected. Perhaps some of these same people will consider staying home for as long as it takes to slow the infections and deaths. This should be common sense thinking among the voted in politicians. Shirley sounds ridiculous and selfish.

Chicken Little
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 10:05am

There is no evidence that "if Shirkey had his way the pandemic would have hit Michigan even harder." It looks like Shirkey did not have his way, and data shows that the pandemic did hit Michigan harder than perhaps any state.

Diane, I know you want a dictator to control your behavior, your property, and your life, but most people don't. I know you're afraid and willing to give up anything- your liberty and freedoms even- to have that fear go away, and that's not unusual- using fear to get people to sacrifice their liberties is common in history.

We need to pull through this crisis using American values and beliefs, not Chinese ones. Freedom, liberty, civil society, protection of property rights, innovation, creativity, and strong family values- that's what is going to get us through this thing.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:23am

Mike Shirkey, Instead of criticizing Gretchen for what she is doing you need to listed to Trumps rant this past weekend about the fake news saying hospitals are in desperate need and that they (hospitals) are greatly supplied with have empty beds. That's the tragic tale that needs to be addressed...…….

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:29am

I just can't get past the fact that I can buy all the alcohol I want but not seeds to plant a garden. Really, seeds??? Yes, I'm aware that social distancing is imperative right now, but it's this kind of nonsense that is making people head to big name grocery stores just to "get out of the house." And this is playing havoc on people with mental illness. Let me stay home and plant a garden or buy some paint to freshen up a room. These things will keep me home, make me feel like I've accomplished something, and bring me joy in an otherwise dire situation.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:31am

I see a lot of criticism in this article but not very many concrete solutions. How about this, make specific suggestions on what should be different, then when people die because of it be prepared to personally take responsibility.

Gerry Niedermaier
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:31am

Oh what a crock of horse crap.
Our country has the highest mortality rate in the world and it's not by accident. It's from the ineptness and micro-managing in the Oval Office.
Michigan ranks 3rd in the country now with this virus and "slowing" doesn't mean anything. In fact there's a resurgence now in China, but China lies about everything according to the GOP dontcha know!
So let's not jump the gun people. Common sense should prevail...stick to the health rules.
All Shirkey cares about is $$$$$$$$$ and the disgusting attempt to gain votes next time around.
Sure the shut down effects our finances, but Trump has monies coming to bail us out, right?
The shut down is all about saving lives at this time, not about whiners and snivelers who care more about filing their pockets with cash.
On April 2, during the session to extend the Emergency Declaration, Mr. Shirkey, sang the hymn "It is well with my soul" to open the session. Quoting from the Bible's 1st Epistle Shirkey said in his invocation that "Jesus tells us to not be timid."
And then this: "May those words ring soundly through us today and from this point forward as we wrestle with very important, life-threatening, incredibly challenging decisions, on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day basis," he said.
So, he must be a religious man.
But then the Commandment states "Thous shalt not murder."
Easing up is just going to place more people at risk, so Mikey, how do you reconcile this????
Or do you agree with Bill O’Reilly's statement when he was on Sean Hannity’s radio show that “many people who are dying” of the virus “were on their last legs anyway.”
What an immoral thing to say.
I know many people who are regular church goers and then Monday thru Saturday practice their bigotry, hate mongering, racism, cheat at business, etc.
Here's a very germane quote: I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.-Ghandi
Can I get an Amen?

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 7:07pm

Amen! It sounds like Mr Shirkey is one of those pro-birth Republicans that doesn’t really care what happens to those folks once they are out of the womb. I believe we need more volunteers to test vaccines so if he’s all fired up I hope he has signed up too.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:56pm

No Amen here! The root problem, as is often the case, is applying one-size-fits-all solutions to a complex problem. Why can't folks in Lansing and Detroit understand that much of our state looks nothing like their urban landscapes? The Detroit metro area in particular is a congested area where it is much more difficult to practice social distancing, and where a host of economic and social problems complicate life in general. In the suburban and rural areas we understand the need for social distancing and staying at home, but it is much easier to accomplish. So why are we subject to the draconian restrictions in Wretched Gretchen's latest directive? Someone asked for solutions, rather than criticism. Here's an example: I would much prefer to wander through the local greenhouses that I patronize each year, picking out my plants, trying some new varieties, and visiting with my friends and neighbors. However, I can certainly live with calling the greenhouse and saying I need two flats of petunias, a flat of marigolds, a dozen tomato plants, etc., giving them my credit card number and agreeing to pick my plants up (in the parking lot, while wearing my mask and rubber gloves) at a certain time. I have a huge problem with knowing that the plants that were started back before we even heard of COVID19 will very likely go to waste, and knowing that those greenhouse owners may well lose their businesses. It's not like they can make up their lost revenue later in the season -- who buys tomato plants in July? Michiganders are sensible people, for the most part. We should be able to figure out ways to keep our small businesses going as much as possible, while still staying safe.

And finally, don't even get me started on the absurdity of allowing lottery ticket sales to continue while telling me I can't buy plants, fertilizer, or paint. Lottery ticket sales need to stop NOW!

Factual Joe
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 8:12pm

Gerry, I don't think your initial premise is correct, which is why your conclusions are likely false. You believe that the United States "has the highest mortality rate in the world". When you adjust for population size, the mortality rate in the United States is not as high some peer nations. The US is hanging around 30 deaths per million. Spain is around 265 deaths per million. Italy is around 260 per million. France is around 123. United Kingdom is at 72. Iran and China supposedly are doing better than we're doing, but if you believe that, you're probably an idiot.

In simple terms, the US is doing better than most nations in the world at limiting the spread of the virus. There are a couple states though that are not doing well- in order, the states that are doing the worst are New York (Democrat Governor), New Jersey (Democrat Governor), Massachusetts (Republican Governor), Michigan (Democrat Governor), Pennsylvania (Democrat Governor), California (Democrat Governor), and Illinois (Democrat Governor). So, in summary, the nation of the US (headed by Republican President Trump) is doing considerably better than average, but some states are not doing well (6 of top 7 worst states are run by a Democrat).

Shelley Decker
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:46am

I can't respect anyone whose first comment is disparaging marijuana, and who obviously can't give up the drug war, even with this lockdown going on. There are more important things in life than Mike Shirkey's wholly misinformed bias against marijuana.

Stephen Kane
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:49am

Typical republican, nit picking a democrat who had to make tough decisions that nobody was going to like, at a time when Michigan's death toll was just beginning to build. It's disgusting that a senator at this time, goes public with minor concerns that could be worked out with a phone call or 2. I would prefer he openly address the lack of necessary medical equipment the governor has requested from Washington and the disrespect Trump has publicly and repeatedly shown for Michigan's governor and by extension it's citizens. Senator Shirkey please show leadership from the GOP side of the isle and focus on the necessary steps to save lives in Michigan and avoid choosing partisan nit picking. If you are at a loss for what that might look like, may I suggest you lead the way with procuring test kits for both the presence of the virus and kits for detection of viral anti bodies, so when the data indicates it's time to begin the extremely complicated business of restarting our economy it is done in such a way that minimizes the chance of a second wave of infection. Please postpone your worries about flowers and lawn mowing till the more acute challenges were are facing are prepared for.

Stephen Kane
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:54am

Where did my comment go ? I clicked save and it vanished.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:03pm

I am a small business owner in the lawn maint. field. I work alone, have no needs to enter any store, and have several elderly customers. One of them is a widow who did not receive a fall clean up, like many others, and it pains her to see her yard deteriorating. Some of the yards up north have massive amounts of leaves and ordering us not to clean them up with no doubt kill their lawns that they have spent money on year after year to maintain. The mosquito population will be greatly increased along with other biting insects soon and now is the time to be doing clean ups, not later, as my job will be miserable when it's hot and the bugs are out. Make some exemptions! It's worth the time, it's common sense and it can be done with no risk.

Tim Horstman
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:06pm

The cannabis house are open for the majority health treatments. I believe party stores should be closed, she gave everyone a chance to be responsible and most neglected her request. So now the extreme. Facts are facts this is not political. Peoples lives are at stake.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:21pm

Surely the governor is trying to do her best to protectvMichiganders. However, it would do us all well if she'd be open to other perspectives. The examples given are glaring examples of need for change.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:27pm

I would fully support all small businesses being allowed to operate on a phone/no-contact pick-up basis. There are a handful of currently closed local businesses that I, a very cautious individual, would still like to work with under these circumstances. Extremely cautious workarounds like these could keep these small businesses from going under in what looks like otherwise an extended period of closure. It also goes without saying that if a business is forced to close by the government that it also ought to be illegal to require normal rent/mortgage payments. Let the uber-rich who own the land and buildings fight these battles instead of already beleaguered small businesses.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:49pm

This guy a fool the reason she shut this stuff down is you can't keep uneducated people from gathering

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:51pm

It’s all about preventing crowds and spreading the virus. When marijuana is purchased it’s done on the curbside not in a crowded store

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 12:01am

What about lottery tickets? I don't see folks buying them curbside, and there are many people who buy lottery tickets much more frequently than they buy truly "essential" items like groceries. Allowing lottery ticket sales certainly gives people a reason to leave their homes and congregate in stores.

Jack s Creed
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 1:14pm

Whitmers plan is way out of line , people are going to start to rebel ,if she doesn't make changes soon, IAM not going to live like this much longer, IAM 67 years old been enough in my life ,this is just insane,

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 1:57pm

For the good of all, we need to put politics aside & work together towards getting all Michiganders back to a functioning society. Coronavirus is not going away any time soon, however we cannot stay locked-up in our homes forever. While some people should keep themselves isolated, the remainder of us need to be smart & do our part to be safe (wash hands, wear masks, distance ourselves from others, etc.). I think the governor may be making a mistake by telling us what we can & cannot do (which is impossible) thereby creating illogical inconsistencies in her “order”. Both of my 80+ year old parents got coronavirus when they were buying food (essential) at a supermarket (essential business). Remember it is “us” verses Coronavirus - we can beat this virus but we have too outsmart it...

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 2:43pm

Vegetable seeds are a food stamp item. How are they non-essential? What about the people that need to grow their own food? What about the people that don't have credit cards or internet access and need access to vegetable seeds and plants? They can't just shop online.

Maureen Thomas
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 2:45pm

Mr. Shirky: as you are probably well aware, most of the marijuana currently sold in the state of Michigan is for medicinal purposes. Lottery ticket profits are used to support our schools , which will need the funding now more than ever. Liquor stores can only stay open if they also sell food.

Folks had plenty of time to buy paint and outdoor grills if they were in desperate need of them before the recent stay home extension. The guest room can be painted at another time and they can cook in their ovens, stoves and microwaves. Or better yet, go pick up carry out from one a local restaurants trying to stay in business.

Michigan Easter lilly growers should donate their unsold materials to hospitals, nursing homes and other places that could certainly use a lift right now. And of course they are eligible for the business loans, business grants and other financial incentives provided by recent Congressional acts. Not to mention they may have insurance coverage for their losses.

And would someone please tell me where in the state of Michigan the lawn is so long that it has to be cut NOW? Most lawnmowing contracts don’t even begin until May.

Kayaks and canoes typically hold only one person -unlike motorboats. Most people store their motorboats offsite and can’t access them unless those facilities open and the boat repair shops open to get them running. Just more nonessential people back out there getting sick and getting other people sick. I live on a lake, I’ve seen the pontoons filled with people who are not social distancing and don’t live in the same household. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile. Most fisherman throw the fish back - they’re not eating their catch to survive, it’s a sport.

These limits make perfect sense to anyone with common sense. This is a national emergency. A pandemic. Our state is under a disaster declaration Yes, some people are being inconvenienced so that others don’t die. Get over yourselves! Even if you’re willing to take the risk of getting sick yourself, you have no right to risk infecting others. There is overwhelming medical evidence that individuals without symptoms are getting other people sick.

A leader is someone who is willing to make difficult and unpopular decisions in a time of crisis. Gretchen Whitmer is a leader. You have the title (senate majority) leader, so start acting like one. Now is not the time for divisive op eds or pandering for votes. Shame on you!

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 12:19am

Have you ever owned or managed a business, or known anyone who has? I have, and I have worked with a lot of business owners from sole proprietors to corporations. I can't think of a single one who wouldn't prefer to get through this crisis without resorting to loans, grants, and other types of bailouts. Yes, the safety net should be there, but as a consumer I want to support my local businesses, and as a community member I want my business community to survive. As a taxpayer (I belong to one of the less than 50 percent of households who actually pay federal income taxes) I am concerned about the vast amounts of public money being devoted to helping people and businesses survive. And before you all reach for your keyboards to tell me I care more about money than human life, no, I don't. We must do what we can to get through this, and I don't begrudge support for people and businesses who truly need it. But at both the state and federal level the "bailouts", for lack of a better word, have been politicized by including funding for special interests and projects, and let's not forget that at some point, we have to figure out where all this money will come from. It's far better in the long run if we find common-sense ways to keep as many businesses as possible open and serving their communities, with limitations as necessary to keep us safe.

Hester prynne
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 3:28pm

Repub jackass

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 3:37pm

We make poor decisions now in Nov when it time to vote and there is another stay at home order except to vote the senators and congressmen and msc justices tell us we have go stand in line and take our chances better plan on working in the voter booths the people of MI will accept nothing less.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 4:39pm

City Pulse (in Lansing) wrote an article about some people at Lansing Country Club putting on the greens, walking around, etc. The club is obviously closed. Our Attorney General, Dana Nessel was quoted as posting the following on Twitter:

"I just can't hear about one more black health care worker, police officer, or bus driver die while getting a barrage of complaints from white folks outraged because they can't go golfing."

I spent a good portion of my career fighting to reduce the health disparities and inequities that impact our minority populations, especially African Americans. I find this comment from our AG bothersome. It is true that African Americans have seen worse health outcomes when compared to other races. But is absolutely false that only African Americans are on the front lines: don't tell me that there aren't white, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern doctors, police officers, firemen, bus drivers, fast food employees, grocery store employees, etc who interact with potentially COVID-19 infected people.

Roseanne Cerra
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 4:43pm

I'm surprised by the rather reckless and irresponsible opinion given by Senator Shirkey. Our Governor is facing the humongous task of keeping Michiganders alive. She is doing what she feels is necessary to keep us from succumbing to the virus. No small feat. So that may mean no cruising on motorboats and motorcycles for a few weeks. The reason is clear. Every time someone makes a non essential trip to the gas station, someone who has COVID-19 and doesn't even know it, could leave the virus on the gas pumps for days. These are the same gas pumps that our "essential" workers use...police, fire-fighters, grocery clerks and hospital workers. I have family members who are fire-fighters and medical workers. Their life trumps your desire to tool around in your motorbike.
As far as not being able to buy plants, I live in southern Michigan and our planting season doesn't even begin until mid to late May. So what's the problem? Most garden nurseries I know have their own stash of seeds saved from last year so that should not be a concern. If it is, you can always buy online.
And I think those who work directly with the public, i.e. retail, pharmacy, etc., should be required to wear masks until we get the all clear during these challenging times.
I am just as anxious to get this economy going as the next person, but not if it means more lives lost.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:13pm

Right on Roseanne Cerra!

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 4:55pm

Use YOUR common sense! People are NOT abiding by the stay at home order as it is - we surpassed Washigton state and California in cases and deaths and you want to ease up on restrictions??? Wtf? She's smart, 3-4 out of every 10 People walking into home depot are not complying, so u want to allow people to buy flowers (when it's still april-come on) and lawn furniture then you have to staff that area, stock it and cashier it along with bringing merchandise to the stores...then you are putting more and more people at risk, employees and customers! Then your gonna have people wanting to design their kitchens etc, that is not social distancing. It's a short period of time. Stop fucking complaining about everything! And to say the governor is "clearly not thinking about the people"? Are you kidding me? That's all she's thinking about and you are an idiot to even say something so stupid. #idiocracy

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:14pm


Barbara Derman
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:16pm

Stay Home and Stay Safe is the "sensible" public health response to pandemic! This is about saving lives now! We will all work to recover Michigan's economy but for now we have to save lives. In this crisis, Mr Shirkey needs to think about his responsibility to the people of Michigan instead of his donors for once!

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:26pm

I'm greatly saddened and disappointed by the tremendous lack of compassion of the haves for the have-nots. So, you have health, what about those that don't? So, you have life today, what about those that loss theirs? So, you feel safe, well what about those on the frontline risking their lives daily? This isn't about money (which can always be restored), it's about the true character of who we are in crisis. Do we turn on one another like vipers, or do we stand in unification, though it may appear to go against "our" personal agenda? Once selfishness is aborted, and empathy is demonstrated, then the win/win solution of Governor Whitmer will be realized.

Brian Lauscher
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:31pm

I live in the U.P. We are "world's away" from the all the issues of Southeast Michigan. We shouldn't be lumped into the cesspool of issues ravaging Detroit and surrounding counties.
IF the solutions made sense, we'd have no problem abiding by them. Can anyone tell me how going fishing out in my boat with my wife is hurting anyone? And her decisions are based on " science?"
Reality shows that she is only concerned about her political union donors near the cities. Who gives a damn about those yoopers anyway, eh?

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:35pm

Without taking one side or the other, I wonder how many people who are staunch supporters of Whitmer and her edicts are people who are able to work from home, therefore still getting paychecks. That does factor into people's frustration. We are going on four weeks without income due to the whole self-employment application delay. We were finally able to apply today, but can't certify weeks not worked until April 20 then says to expect it to take another week for deposit. When people accuse of caring more about money than health, one doesn't have to exclude the other. Concerns are valid for both. And I also agree that Whitmer et al shouldn't be taking paychecks when so many others aren't allowed to work.

Frankie Len
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:41pm

Going out to the restaurant to get a darn ice cream is so beyond stupid go to the darn supermarket get a gallon of it and you won't have to come back out for a week it depends on how fast you eat it!

Dawn Wiseley
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:45pm

I agree some of her restrictions are asinine. Some of us michiganders rely on our friuts and vegtables we plant in our own gardens every year. If you can purchase the seeds with snap benefits shouldnt you be able to put in a garden. A garden and its contents are needed to sustain life.

Shanon Shoffner
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 6:50pm

Lawn care business owners and I think we are essential because we don't work around are customers plus we are out doors. I don't think weed,playing the lottery or liquor is essential. I think the governor is misinformed about what is essential and what's not essential.

Dan B
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 6:57pm

What about lawn care? I don't own a mower, I pay a service to do my 1 acre lot. It won't take long until my dog is peeing in the middle of a jungle. That restriction is dumb. I don't interact with my landscapers almost ever.

Kelly Schroeder
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 7:01pm

People have common sense in the first place we wouldn't be in this situation. There's no reason for people to be in stores when they're offering curbside pickup. Also people who are working in those stores should be supplied with and ordered to wear gloves and masks. We have people shopping and working in all stores that are deemed essential right now to that are not properly equipped. It seems that the people who are not taking this seriously are the ones that are whining about it....maybe it would take getting this or losing somebody they love in order to take this seriously. And these are the people that are making this quarantine longer. Plain and simple, the stuff that they cannot get or do right now isn't costing them or other people lives... can they promise the opposite,

Kelly Schroeder
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 7:01pm

People have common sense in the first place we wouldn't be in this situation. There's no reason for people to be in stores when they're offering curbside pickup. Also people who are working in those stores should be supplied with and ordered to wear gloves and masks. We have people shopping and working in all stores that are deemed essential right now to that are not properly equipped. It seems that the people who are not taking this seriously are the ones that are whining about it....maybe it would take getting this or losing somebody they love in order to take this seriously. And these are the people that are making this quarantine longer. Plain and simple, the stuff that they cannot get or do right now isn't costing them or other people lives... can they promise the opposite,

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 7:04pm

We need a good common sense Republican in the governor's chair during this pandemic sadly most of her decisions don't make sense

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 7:04pm

We need a good common sense Republican in the governor's chair during this pandemic sadly most of her decisions don't make sense

Pe Teno-Taname
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 7:19pm

Everybody is a critic (irony noted.) Ideally everything evolves towards perfection. Quit playing politics and undermining our state's leadership.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 7:40pm

I support Governor Whitmer, if it saves one life it is worth it. Money over life is never the answer.

John Oppenhuizen
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 8:55pm

Kent & Ottawa Counties produce more greenhouse grown products than almost anyplace else on earth. They ship products all over the eastern US.
Not allowing them to work will be devastating in a very short (weeks) period of time. Business failures like this will take years to rebuild, all because our governor hates President Trump. I am convinced she would sacrifice all of us in order to achieve the "greater good" of being able to blame President Trump.
I feel bad for Michigan.

John Oppenhuizen
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 8:55pm

Kent & Ottawa Counties produce more greenhouse grown products than almost anyplace else on earth. They ship products all over the eastern US.
Not allowing them to work will be devastating in a very short (weeks) period of time. Business failures like this will take years to rebuild, all because our governor hates President Trump. I am convinced she would sacrifice all of us in order to achieve the "greater good" of being able to blame President Trump.
I feel bad for Michigan.

Kristen Milefchik
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:00pm

Copying right off what I already posted on Facebook.

I just want to point out something. I know a lot of people think I've been overly opinionated about the criticisms of the extension on the stay-at-home order and of our governor. I want you to understand why it's so appalling to me specifically though, not just as a fellow Michigander, but as a wheelchair using, lifelong disabled person.

This is not the first time I've been trapped in my own home. I can't drive myself and can't afford the kind of hand controls to be able to drive myself as they cost over 50,000 dollars by themselves. So I've had periods, much longer than three weeks, where I have been unable to go anywhere because I either didn't have a functioning accessible vehicle or because I didn't have anyone to drive me anywhere. It was depressing but pretty typical.

You see, it is not a unique situation. Many people with mobility challenges in our state are stuck at home a lot of the time, if not ALL the time, because we lack a comprehensive public transportation system AND many people need physical assistance to shower, dress, and have someone drive them so they can go out but they lack the financial means to pay someone enough to do all of it. So, this may be a surprise to you, but many, MANY Michiganders have had extremely limited freedom of movement, even before Governor Whitmer first issued a stay-at-home-order. And yet after only three weeks, TONS of Michiganders are up in arms that they can't go boating...where was your concern for freedom of movement and human rights when disability groups across the nation were pleading with the Trump administration to not cut Medicaid benefits that paid for the home and community based services that provide them THEIR freedom of movement?

When I was Ms. Wheelchair Michigan, my platform was adequate home and community based services be made a federal right for every American citizen who clinically needed them so that disabled or not, they could live in their own homes, not nursing facilities, and so that they could also be out and interacting in their communities, not imprisoned in their own homes or a facility. I had a petition, but I believe a little under 200 people signed it.

I also, have since, joined the board of Transportation Riders United to advocate for better transit in Southeast Michigan because the lack of public transportation in this state, and even in the whole country, is the most widely cited problem for people with disabilities in the nation and again, keeps them trapped in their own homes. But I'm quite sure a lot of you planning to protest Wednesday and mad about not being able to go on your boats or buy paint and gardening supplies at your local big box stores voted against the mass transit plan for SE Michigan in 2016.

If I could have generated the kind of enthusiasm I'm seeing from you who are so angry at Governor Whitmer for extending the stay-at-home order, to instead be angry about human beings being held hostage in their homes, or worse, nursing facilities FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES, I think people with disabilities in Michigan might actually feel as much impacted by this stay-at-home stuff as you. Unfortunately, we don't have the LUXURY of feeling the contrast you are all feeling in your lives, because we never had the freedom you are supposedly fighting for in the first place. We couldn't even go get groceries when we wanted to, so you're still comparably FREE. But to top it all off, all this whining about the stay-at-home order does not only seem obscenely entitled to people like me, it also seems incredibly selfish.

Home care workers who work for people like me still have to go to work because people like me die if they don't. They are among those who could get the virus while out shopping for people like me, or picking up gas to come to work, or whatever. So not only are you insulting us with your self-entitled whining, by trying to push for less quarantining and more going out for non-essential activities, you are also putting people like myself, with underlying health conditions, lives at risk. We are also the ones who have a reduced chance of getting a ventilator if we do get this virus, because our lives apparently have less value than those that are younger or more physically fit.

So I'm gonna make a judgement call here and say, you all don't actually care about human rights and freedom if you are opposing the stay-at-home order. That's just a cover.

If you didn't fight with ADAPT when they went to D.C., or sign my petition, or write to your legislators about The Disability Integration Act or to ask them to not slash Medicaid; Or if you don't advocate for public transit; or if you don't get angry at trillions of federal dollars being used to bail out wealthy corporations while our grocery workers, or home care workers taking care of seniors and us, YOUR family members, who are also now dying for us, can't get a pay raise; if you are more concerned about your taxes than you are people with disabilities having a right to the same freedoms as you, but you are getting angry about not being able to have your landscaper come over right now.... you don't care about freedom or human rights. You care about yourself. And only yourself.

Larry stevens
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:10pm

HELLLLLOOOOO: HARDWARE STORES ARE STILL OPEN to buy the things you are complaining about. Stop spreading falsehoods. Sit down and shut up. Putting ANYONE at risk is not worth your "poor me I'm bored" attitude. Grow up.

Steve O
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 9:14pm

Stay at home isn't meant to stop you from getting infected. Slowing the curve is to allow hospitals to treat more people over a longer period of time. Emergency hospitals are already reducing beds.
Most of her orders are unconstitutional. She isn't ready for this job. Compare Michigan to Ohio.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:54pm

Excellent summary! Thank you for it, agreed with every word!!

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 12:06am

There was a decision by the Supreme Court over a century ago, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), that furnishes a legal basis for the governor's extensive police powers during a pandemic. A number of First Amendment rights can be suspended. I would think it is up to the courts to determine where the appropriate balance might be. Until then, people are free to complain about the governor's use of her police powers, but they are still obliged to follow the law.

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 6:23am

She’s a complete a moron she is lost she don’t need to be there anymore she’s getting a big head over this job and she trying to be vice president she’s overstepping her bounds it’s not gonna work

George scantland
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 8:33am

I watched an interview where the Gov., Stated: " we have taken precautions by implementing a hiring freeze," But she could not think of anything else that was done. The people are sacrificing their livelihoods and she cannot think of anything to say, except for a hiring freeze. This person is incompetent

Karen Dargo
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 8:33am

I have no money coming in. I'm the bread winner and . some people are going to suffer depression and anxiety and have never suffered it before. Be careful governor.

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 9:52am

Gov. Whitmer is showing her true colors during this “crisis”. The Governor feels comfortable coming out if the fascist closet. Her orders are draconian and there is not a thread of common sense her. How can alcohol, pot, and lotter ticked sale be considered essential? Not only are her orders senseless and in-constitutional but also racist. Yes, Governor Whitmer is racist. Her order to permit alcohol , pot, and lottery sales disproportionately harm the minority community. I guess Governor Whitmer is ok with the majority of people in Michigan not collecting an income but she left the revenue stream open in the form of taxes on alchol, pot, lottery sales. Governor Whitmer is a racist.

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 12:37pm

This is a unique situation. Given that, even though I am a lifelong Republican, I am doing my best to give Governor Whitmer a fair shake on her handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. For the most part, I had no major issues with her performance to date. But this latest round of restrictions is hard to get my head around. The one that affects me the most is that I cannot pay my two lawn guys, brothers, who live in the same house, to cut, edge,and weedwack my lawn. I have an ankle full of long term osteoarthritis, surgery is pending, but has been temporarily cancelled due to the pandemic. I would think if the two young twenty somethings wore masks and gloves, I stayed in the house while they worked, it should be fine. They are good with leaving me a bill in my mailbox so I can write them a check. Things have been ok up until now due to the chilly April. However the weather will warm in late April and early May. Then as everyone knows the grass will grow extremely fast. If businesses and homes in my situation are unable,to cut, the resulting overgrowth will eventually promote rodent infestation and disease spread from these creatures. Just what we do not need. If I am missing a consideration, let me know, otherwise let’s get rid of this restriction as soon as possible.

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 1:34pm

She has got to go before someone shoots her ..............

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 4:57pm

put everyone of these protestors on the frontline at the grocery stores or hospitals to make above minimum wage because they can 'collect unemployment because they are an essential worker. I am sure they are the idiots who are rich and feel they are above or more important than everyone else in society and don't feel the need to wear a mask in public. the poor grocery store workers are dying because of the masses shopping just to get out of the house and not for what is needed.

Dawn Webb
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 7:25pm

Mike - until we have antibody testing available for everyone that wants it including me in Northern Michigan, you have no business calling for anything. These discussions should be data driven and you don't have ANY data.

Geoffrey Owen
Tue, 04/14/2020 - 8:14pm

MATH problem. How dangerous is the virus now that we have slowed the growth from 20% to 5% per day? Example. If I lent you a dollar at 5% interest added daily, how much would you owe me after one year? $51,630,325. You had a month to paint your walls and get a grill. Plenty of time for flowers at your memorial service. I hear that Mr Shirkey is having a protest in Lansing because this is just too much..... Too much? Back to that dollar, I will expect to collect, and so will the Reaper.

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 11:38pm

Everyone including the senator should read the order. It doesn't ban anything from buildings with less than 50,000 sq ft. ( a football field minus the end zone is 48,000 sq ft.). So buy your seeds, plants, carpet, paint, etc. at the small businesses, not the big box stores who are riling everyone up so they can make their rich owners (Mr. Blank, Menard, Buchanan, etc.) richer.
The bridge magazine should also be fact checking opinions instead of perpetuating the problem.

Sat, 04/18/2020 - 8:56am

I'm from Detroit I want to visit Houghton. Profit money before sustaining life? All my friends I are in for northern excursion roll out the red carpet were on our way.

Paul Kyprie
Thu, 04/23/2020 - 10:07am

Shirley's idea of determining which business's are safe to reopen is poorly thought out. Who is going to decide who gets to continue with business and who can't. He gave an example of two ends of the continuum. On one end is a worker who comes to your home and works in your yard and leaves and sends you a bill. The other is a rock concert at Ford Field (think Lions Football). At the extremes it is a no brainer but as you move towards the middle you would have to have input from contagious disease specialists. I know my neighbors and if you said "yes you can take your motor boat out on the lake", it wouldn't be long before people would disregard social distancing. Look at the behavior of the folks who showed up in Lansing to protest the stay at home order. Watch what happens in Florida and Georgia. This is just putting our health care workers in a worse situation. So suck it up and stay at home and don't listen to anything Mike Shirkey says ever.