As governors around the country, including those in the Republican party, mandate statewide mask use and reimpose lockdowns on dining and entertainment, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in a special dinnertime address on Wednesday declined to impose any new health orders and instead implored Ohioans to act responsibly in the face of rising coronavirus infections.
"I'm asking each of you to take action now," DeWine said.
A lot of people will ignore that, or take it as license to simply go back to living life as if a global pandemic is something that can be overcome by the will power to leave the house, which is ludicrously dumb and how we got here.
"I'm asking you to wear masks when you go out into public," DeWine asked politely. "Masks are critical... But masks are not enough. A lot of us have let our guard down. We want to go back to the way things were, and that's understandable. But when we do we're playing a Russian roulette game with our lives and those of our neighbors. Would that neighborhood cook out be worth it...? ... That playdate?"
DeWine largely leaned on some generic altruistic Ohioan tendency to act in the interest of others, but emphasized that the state has already lost 3,075 to COVID-19, about as many as the state lost to Vietnam war casualties.
"This is our second chance. We won't get a third," DeWine said of how Ohio's coronavirus infections have trended since the reopening of the state, and what waits around the corner if the trends continue. "We could face a disaster that dwarfs the situation we're facing today. We're sliding."
DeWine reiterated the state's upward spike is not due simply to increased testing — testing has increased 87% but infections have increased 200%.
"We must take the longview," he said, noting short-term sacrifices would play an essential role in long-term solutions.
The address, which was moved from its customary 2 p.m. time slot to 5:30 p.m., marked the first time a wet fart was broadcast on the Ohio Channel.