Should Boise Residents Tattle On Those Not Following ‘Social Distancing’ Rules?
My family is spread out all over the United States and when we check in together, it's really hard to answer the questions "So, what's it like in Idaho right now?"
My little sister lives in Minnesota where their governor's "Stay Home" order went into effect on Friday, March 27. It was set to expire today, but their governor decided to extend it until Monday, May 4.
My parents live in Ohio. Their governor, Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, are often included in a national list of officials who've handled the COVID-19 crisis swiftly and effectively. Their "Stay Home" order went into effect on Monday, March 23 and was originally supposed to expire on Monday, April 6. A revised version on the order will be extended through May 1.
That brings us back home to Idaho. Our "Stay Home" order went into effect on Wednesday, March 25 and is set to expire on April 15. Governor Little has not officially extended the order at this time, but has acknowledge that things will not go back to normal on April 16 in several interviews with local media outlets. Most of us our taking the order in stride, voluntarily doing our part and trying to remain as calm as possible.
Unfortunately, I have to explain to my family that in Idaho we have two groups of extremists out there. There have been groups calling Governor Little's order unconstitutional and have gathered in groups to protest at several locations. That's been hard for me to stomach as I have two family members currently fighting COVID-19. I see how sick they are and how weak they are. It crushes me to see how many people refuse to make a few sacrifices to help prevent other people like my mom and father-in-law from getting this awful virus.
At the same time, we've got an equally large group of warriors who want to tattle to law enforcement every time they see something that may violate the "Stay Home" order. According to a news release from the Ada County Sheriff's Department, they've received 230 calls that were complaints or inquiries where people want an investigation into violations of the stay home order and social distancing guidelines. The release goes on to explain those complaints range from calls about gyms having people inside of them to teens gathering on basketball courts.
There's a possibility that some of those calls may have been fueled by a social media post from Boise Mayor, Lauren McLean that included an info graphic reading "Who to Call: Please call non-emergency dispatch to report non-compliance with social distancing orders" with the non-emergency dispatch number included. That post has since been deleted and Mayor McLean took time to reply to Twitter comments asking if she was encouraging Boise residents to snitch on their neighbors. It seemed to be a misunderstanding, where she was trying to remind residents that non-compliance calls do not constitute as an emergency requiring you to call 911.
So should we snitch on people who may be violating the stay home order? The official word from the Ada County Sheriff's press release is that the best thing we can do during this confusing thing where everyone's anxiety is super high is to not fight amongst ourselves. Continue to control what you can, which is your own actions.