JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Will rainy weather save Seattle from coronavirus shelter-in-place order?

Mar 22, 2020, 9:09 PM | Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 5:55 am

Will a week of rainy weather help stave off a coronavirus shelter-in-place order in Seattle? After a weekend of objectively poor self-isolation, a week of rain and cold conditions could be what saves us temporarily.

I continue to believe the coronavirus shelter-in-place order will come on Monday — but could it be delayed at the last minute?

Governor Jay Inslee warned Washingtonians last week that if we don’t take a self-quarantine seriously, he would take more extreme measures (meaning a coronavirus shelter-in-place order). Over the weekend, while many took Inslee seriously, many did not.

With sunny, mild weather, hundreds flocked to parks and trails in numbers too large to stay six feet away from one another. Alki Beach was a particularly egregious example of ignoring quarantine guidance. But what happens when the weather isn’t so nice?

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Pausing a coronavirus shelter-in-place order?

Inslee seems very reluctant to implement a coronavirus shelter-in-place order. It’s obviously not an easy decision; it’s one that has public health and economic implications.

Perhaps the data gives him pause, thinking one or two more days and the numbers will flatten the curve. Or perhaps he just knows it will be painful. If the data looked good, perhaps Inslee wouldn’t have asked President Donald Trump to declare this a major disaster. And our data seems worse than the situation in Louisiana and Ohio, two states that just instituted their own shelter-in-place orders.

By all indications, a coronavirus shelter-in-order declaration was coming. But now the rain is, too.

Related: Everett mayor directs residents to stay home

Will rain the save the day?

When the sun comes out, Seattleites run outside. We’re finally tasting the first moments of spring after a cold and wet winter. I guess it caused some of us to be so excited we didn’t care we could serve as a vector for coronavirus. Our behavior earned a tweet-scolding by the governor.

But it is supposed to rain all this week, with lows between 37 and 42. Combine the weather with a work week (for many of us), and you should see fewer people out and about. That could give Inslee a couple more days to see whether or not the curve is flattening on it’s own. We’ve seen some promising numbers from the University of Washington, but it still may not be enough.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter.

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Rantz: Will rainy weather save Seattle from coronavirus shelter-in-place order?