In the world of coronavirus, essential businesses are considered those – and this is a very general definition – that allow Americas to survive. The businesses that sell food or medicine or the ability to keep a roof over your head, and the businesses that supply those businesses, those are considered essential. But some of them, from WalMart to Target to Meijer, also sell clothes…and books…and sunglasses…and a myriad of items that aren’t considered essential.
Howard County, Indiana has decided to force those businesses to stop selling those “non-essential” goods. Translation: Social Distancing doesn’t matter when you’re buying eggs or cereal. Social Distancing is the law if you want to buy your kids a coloring book.
In a Facebook post explaining their decision, the county Board of Commissioners claim the issue is Howard County residents who are gathering at these stores. As written in the order, the Board claims store employees are saying people are shopping because they are, “bored at home” and they, “buy only non-essential goods.” From the Board of Commissioners:
This is not fair to businesses that have closed in compliance with the county’s order….Obviously (having people congregate in businesses,) this is not in keeping with the crucial need to practice social distancing and to limit social gatherings.
The order from the county applies to goods including: jewelry, furniture, home and lawn decor, toys/games, carpet/rugs/flooring, non-emergency appliances, music/books/magazines, craft and art supplies, paint, entertainment electronics
The problem here is that the Social Distancing doctrine is applied unequally, and shows again why the nation-wide approach of shutting down business was more overreaction than logic and science.