By the time you read this column, I will be on my way to San Antonio, which has been in the news for its response to potential cases of the coronavirus, especially for patients who had been aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Since the political machinations of declaring a “public health emergency” did not work for the city of San Antonio and Bexar County, I humbly offer the following suggestions to preserve law, order, and health in Alamo Country.
No quarantined individual should be released until everyone, especially politicians, who have no medical expertise feel it is safe.
I don’t think we should settle for three tests, which the woman had passed after being in quarantine for three weeks.
As long as any public officials have doubts, civil rights and civil liberties will be suspended for those under suspicion of having coronavirus.
Anyone with any connection to China, Chinese restaurants, including take-out, should be closely monitored and required to wear ankle bracelets to track their movements.
Anyone with a positive test will be branded with a “C.” Care will be taken to ensure the brand does not conflict with any famous cattle brands in the state of Texas.
I recommend the city of San Antonio adopt the wise and sensible policy of Salem, Massachusetts, when they confronted their own “public health emergency in the last decade of the 17th century.
In short, those quarantined shall be put into nearby Canyon Lake, where officials will administer the “swimming test.” If they float, they are still contagious. If not, they are no longer a public health concern.
Sneezing, coughing and yawning in public will be subject to substantial fines and potential prison time. Second-hand germs are not only dangerous, they are simply impolite.
Public displays of affection will be severely regulated. There will be no hugging, kissing, shaking of hands, fist bumps, high fives or other potentially reckless physical contact. Even blowing kisses is to be highly discouraged.
The government shall employ Catholic religious orders to enforce a one-foot rule with wooden rulers. Infractions will result in rapping of knuckles to the offending party.
Professional, collegiate, high school and youth sports will adopt similar measures in their respective sports. Huddles will be allowed providing each player maintains their one-foot distance.
Athletes no longer will be required to touch their teammates or opponents after every play.
To ensure enforcement, city and county officials should convene a Committee of Public Safety as during the French Revolution.
This Committee will have broad powers to maintain safety and to detain anyone deemed to be suspicious or dangerous.
Video cameras and drone usage should be widely deployed throughout the city to ensure citizens are surveilled around the clock.
If these measures prove ineffective, one has only to look to the Declaration of Independence for a solution.
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth.”
Texas can once again be a lone star!
We cannot wait for doctors and scientists to do their “science,” double-blind studies and careful testing of treatments and vaccines.
Rash and decisive action is the clear course of action.
Nicolas Shump is a longtime educator and writer in northeast Kansas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.