Governor Charles Duane Baker also known as Charlie Baker, which makes me think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which recalls the pleasant aromas of chocolate which came from the Baker’s Chocolate factory in the Lower Mills area at the end of Dorchester Avenue when I was a young man, was elected and elected again because he represented the thought “first do no harm.” Although Massachusetts is a liberal state with a progressive legislature the people want some check on its most outlandish ideas becoming laws and causing more harm than good.
The best place to find that is in a moderate Republican who manages to keep things at a simmer rather than boiling over. Charlie succeeded Deval Patrick a Democrat last heard of when he announced his candidacy for president. That announcement made a little bit of a news splash. His withdrawal from his futile pursuit received little if any coverage. Maybe he’s still running unlike another former governor Bill Weld, cut from the same cloth as Charlie, but more ambitious or perhaps more easily bored, whose withdrawal from the pursuit of the presidency was covered in the media. I always liked Weld but somewhere along the line sad to say he stumbled.
Weld would have been bold. It is not in Charlie’s nature to be like that. One step at a time is his approach, it’s the easy does it way. He is the strolling down the street crossing only at crosswalks after looking both ways type guy. Nothing wrong with that, in fact it is quite praiseworthy, in normal times. But when the skies darken and the troubles pour down like a tropical rain storm you don’t wait for the crosswalk to cross the street for cover. You move fast and decisively,
After the Biogen Marriott meeting debacle Charlie didn’t follow the test, trace and isolate best practice. He dawdled. As the virus cases mounted he hesitated before asking people to stay in their homes. He has finally done it. Then he sat and rested I assume satisfied with his actions. He thought he was safely across the street but found out he was only on an island in the middle of the road.
He sees his actions are not accomplishing what he hoped. The cases of coronavirus continue to rise in Massachusetts as do the deaths associated with it. To deal with that he took another baby step by asking people arriving in the state to quarantine themselves for fourteen days. Who knows if they will? There is no plan in place to follow-up on them or sanction them if they don’t. Charlie seems to recoil at the thought of sanctions.
I’ve observed that many are complying with the stay at home advisory but many are not,, especially the teenagers. I can’t blame them. The orders are sanction free and the actions required voluntary. To a teenager being with friends is so very important so oblivious to the possible harm they follow their hearts.
I have seen and heard that in the supermarkets few people are wearing masks. People still don’t get it. More than one of my neighbors have told me they have had close encounters with others who told them ”don’t worry, I’m fine, I have no symptoms.” They miss the main point that you can be infected with the virus and infect others and show no symptoms.
Charlie has to give up his one step at a time approach. He must become bold. It is time for him to give a shelter in place order and have sanctions for those who violate his order. Most importantly he must require any person who goes out in public to wear a mask.
Doing this we may slow it up. So I beg Charlie to act forcefully. Which brings me back to a game of my youth. I forget its name but I think we called it “May I.”
Me: “You may take one baby step forward Charlie!”
Me: “No you may not.”
Me: “ You May take one giant step forward, Charlie!”
Charlie” ”May I?”
Me: “Yes you may, Charlie, take one giant step, And do it right now!”