The Man With A Tan

Following is courtesy of gpickel@pennlive.com. My comments to follow.

“Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled the key criteria of his plan for reopening Pennsylvania amid the coronavirus pandemic on Friday.

A six-point plan was outlined during a televised address, but Wolf provided no timetable for when they could start taking place. He added that more specifics will be forthcoming next week.

The six-points are, as taken verbatim from Wolf:

First, our approach will be data-driven. We will rely upon quantifiable criteria to drive a targeted, evidence-based, regional approach to reopen in Pennsylvania.

Second, we will put forth guidance and recommendations for employers, individuals, and healthcare facilities for assured accountability as we reopen.

Third, reopening necessitates that adequate personal protective equipment and testing are available.

“Fourth, reopening requires a monitoring and surveillance program that allows the Commonwealth to deploy swift actions for containment or mitigation if it’s necessary.

“Fifth, protections for vulnerable populations must remain steadfast throughout the reopening process, such as limitations on visitors to congregate at care facilities and prisons.

“Six, limitations when large gatherings unrelated to occupations should remain in place for the duration of the reopening process.”

Next week, I will be outlining more specific steps on the reopening process as we work with experts in public health agencies and stakeholders to determine how to safely reopen our economy.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump highlighted a three-phase plan for states to reopen whenever they feel it is time to do so. Wolf referenced that messages and The Associated Press described them as:

“In phase one, for instance, the plan recommends strict social distancing for all people in public. Gatherings larger than 10 people are to be avoided and nonessential travel is discouraged.

In phase two, people are encouraged to maximize social distancing where possible and limit gatherings to no more than 50 people unless precautionary measures are taken. Travel could resume.

“Phase three envisions a return to normalcy for most Americans, with a focus on identification and isolation of any new infections.”

How I don’t want to be writing about this … again. Taking a few days off, to rewire my brain, I thought would help. It didn’t. Time after time, day after day, this damn virus stirs up one of many ugly nuggets that choke off one of the few vital breaths of fresh air I have. In between masking outside, the stale air circulating inside a home that’s tired of seeing my mug almost every god-forsaking second otherwise, and my inner sanctum’s restlessness during three hours sleep at night, fresh air is at a premium.

All the information coming at me I can’t ignore. I so wish it was candy unicorns, tickle machines, and swizzle fairies. These are the “imaginaries” I’d like to be writing about on this dreary, thirty-degree day in western-PA. Not our Governor Wolf, again. But, here I sit typing in his name once more, twelve letters, with a space in between, and it’s becoming wasted time and space – like his governorship. A waste of my time and space.

I never wanted Doug Hugs to become a forum for political or social grievances. He’s forced my hand because I am, like so many other self-employed in PA, so frustrated by his lack of leadership amid this pandemic. It’s really quite simple. He is ineffective. No other words will do. I will not attack his character because I do not know the man, however, I have every right to judge him by his actions during this pandemic as our Governor. By this standard, he’s failed us. Period.

I’m calling him “A Man With A Tan”. A plan he has not. He’s getting a nice even tan under the bright lights of an early Pennsylvania media sun, however.

My standard for failure is more specific than his willingness to simply fall in line with all other Governors – which he has done consistently. No initiative to step out and lead at all as the Covid-19 tentacles took an ugly turn toward our commonwealth. He stood idly by as waves of information processed through other states, schools and municipalities started to prepare, think, and plan their way forward .. oh, and possibly work together with their respective legislative bodies to come up with a solution for the common good of the constituency – something very foreign to our solitary-thinking, one-way only Governor who has done everything but.

Again, my standard is more specific than this. And, quite simple. TIME. Time we don’t have to waste that he, our leader of nearly 13 million men, women, and children, doesn’t seem to process.

Today’s press conference, i.e. campaign video, err … waste of time so aptly demonstrates this point perfectly.

Re-read the bullet-points above, or, listen to the whole (waste of time) 22 minute feed. It’s all over the internet. There is absolutely NO mention of when he “plans” on doing anything. He gets the luxury of appearing on a video – at our expense, mind you – with “a plan” … and no plan.

Kinda like me saying, “I will give you $1,000,000 … Promise. Wrapped in crisp packets of $100 bills!!” That’s all. Just sayin’ Wouldn’t you like to know when? Oh, I can’t tell you THAT.

Look, I know this virus is a goofy thing. Problem with Mr. Wolf (downgraded because I done with him as Governor) right now is credibility. He’s been seen standing at the podium lecturing us about masks and social distancing … time … after time … after time. THAT’S what he has time for – himself. Not us or a plan.

During one lecture, there were 7 people in the back (including Rachel Levine, the Health Secretary leading the coronavirus battle in Pennsylvania standing far left which, ironically, best describes Mr. Wolf’s political position). NONE of them were following the protocol he was at the very moment ordering us to follow. I don’t know how accurate timing was for it, as a disclaimer, but with the thin ice he stood on going into the presser, the burden of his uncredibility had large spider cracks forming underfoot.

C R E D I B I L I T Y !! … and time we don’t have anymore for this guy to get his act together.

Businesses he shut down April 1st are losing money every day. (Some credit here … He did need to do it. Something had to be done because nobody knew what we were up against) Unemployment, if ever approved for the thousands who’ve applied and aren’t getting processed, will be bankrupt – at best – in eleven weeks according to a recent report out of Pittsburgh. The already strained PA retirement system, heavy-burdened due to union contract mandated obligations, was already broke way before the virus took hold, and there was unrest with the government all along. Pile on financial stressors of small business not receiving PPP or EIDL monies due to federal inefficiencies, laying off valuable employees, the burdens of home-life isolation, masking, bills, dogs being walked eight times per hour, and irregular shower schedules … too much. Just too much.

This has been, at the time of this writing, 6 weeks. April 30th will be two full months. Only 13 cases in our county. We are under the same orders as the bigger cities. Why? We’ve had no deaths (well. one .. I believe, but an out of county that is attributed to us). Is it because most other states have done the same? Is it because he is influenced, as a democrat, by Pittsburgh and Philadelphia’s numbers? Even if he communicated his bias with us, a predominantly Republican county, we’d at least understand. Be upset, but get it. As it stands now, his lack of professionalism and concern for counties outside his special interest is baffling. Well, to be honest, not baffling anymore because the king has shown his true colors.

One could argue shutting down the entire state is showing concern. If he had that, we wouldn’t be in the financial mess we’re in to begin with, so I don’t agree. Big cities – Erie, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadephia – rule with this guy. These are his voting blocks and the virus numbers upon which he so heavily relies.

Agree or disagree. This is not Your Hugs, it’s Doug Hugs, and I get my podium moment. I have my mask on, appear pale as the sheets I spend little time sleeping on, and most definitely stand 6-feet away from you.

We don’t need a man on video telling us his 6-step, open-ended plan. Why? Because it isn’t a plan at all. It’s a wish list hoping someone else will tell him when to act on it. That’s all it is.

Oh, he’ll get his wish some day soon. It’ll be 13 million unemployed people ( less his cronies ) who can’t get their unemployment – or businesses open – showing up at “Mr.” Wolf’s mansion, or his home away from that big house we pay for, telling him IT’S TIME!!

And he’ll have to listen.

Hope he wearing a mask and is at least 6-feet away.

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