Rantz: Seattle coronavirus stay-at-home order not perfect, but better
Seattle didn’t quite follow the coronavirus stay-at-home order perfectly, but they definitely did better than the previous weekend, as far as I can tell.
I was feeling a bit stir crazy after three straight days in my apartment, leaving only a couple times. I even broadcast my Friday show from my apartment. I decided to go out for a drive to get out of the house. I blasted some Rex Orange County and drove around Seattle. I made some observations.
Coronavirus stay-at-home order was pretty effective
As best as I can tell, at least in Seattle, people stayed home. Mercer was considerably less messy as it normally is, even for a weekend. Wallingford and Fremont were pretty empty, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and Downtown Seattle absolutely dead, and there was considerably less foot traffic at Green Lake.
While Capitol Hill was definitely less busy as it normally would be, there were still some people out and about. Cal Anderson Park had more people than it should. People enjoying the sun in parks begets other people enjoying the sun in the park. I saw more people heading over to enjoy the nice weather. This isn’t essential. A quick walk (or drive) is one thing. Setting up shop in a park for a couple hours is another.
Lots of homeless
There were a lot of homeless people out and about. Some were camped out by the Whole Foods in South Lake Union. The only people around Downtown Seattle, by Westlake Park, were homeless.
At first I thought maybe they’re more noticeable when it’s less crowded but in some spots that I see frequently, they definitely were camped out. This is a problem.
The homeless are uniquely at-risk due to the demographic’s tendency to have an underlying health condition. They can also be unknowing vectors of disease during the coronavirus stay-at-home order. Using our free buses, combined with not being able to frequently wash their hands, is an easy way for this virus to spread.
Elderly out and about
I was shocked and annoyed to see so many elderly people out enjoying their Sunday. I saw what looked to be a grandfather watching his grandkids play basketball at a park. I saw a couple walking with coffee near Archie McPhee, and another leaving a hardware store on Stone Way.
The elderly are the most at-risk of mortality. We’re in the middle of a serious coronavirus stay-at-home order. Hey, seniors, please stay at home on a weekend.
I know it seems particularly cruel, but the entirety of the state has drastically changed their lives so we can protect as many elderly residents as possible. I understand you need groceries (though I didn’t see anyone carrying any), and I get that you want to get out of your homes. But do it when there is less likelihood that you’ll run into people. If some of the elderly don’t take this more seriously, there will be growing resentment from younger generations.
The good and the bad
The good news is for the first weekend under the stay-at-home order, Seattleites appeared to do well. The bad news is that it was probably tough for people. And as the weather gets better, more of you will want to come out. Governor Jay Inslee, one day into the coronavirus stay-at-home order, said we might have to extend it past two weeks. That won’t be pretty.
If you’re feeling stir crazy, consider going for a drive and listening to music (or your favorite podcast). I found that relaxing. Plus, I’m doing a nightly live video chat on Twitter or Facebook to keep people company.