VP mayor and council react to governor’s stay at home call
A Stay at Home order was issued Monday by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. Louisiana residents are asked to stay home unless they absolutely need to perform essential tasks, such as grocery shopping, going to the bank, walking pets, etc. The governor’s office released a guide on what classifies as essential workers. Among those listed in the guide are healthcare workers, public safety and first responders, energy workers, grocery store workers, farmers, bankers, sanitation workers, and those in communications such as newspapers, radio, and television. The full guide and other helpful information can be found on the official website of the Department of Homeland Security: www.cisa.gov/coronavirus.
“As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Louisiana at an alarming rate, it is necessary that we take even more aggressive measures in order to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus,” Edwards said of the order he signed. “I am asking all the people of Louisiana to be good neighbors and to protect themselves and others by following the guidelines of the order. If you do go out, please keep six feet between you and the people around you. Outside exercise is encouraged as long as practice social distancing. This order is not something I take lightly, but it is necessary to protect the health, safety and well-being of our people, our community, and our way of life.”
Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine urged citizens to heed the governor’s order, saying, “By complying, we are protecting our lives and the lives of the people we love. We are in a public health crisis. No one is immune. We can all get this virus and possibly die from it.” She reminded people to wash their hands frequently, wipe down surfaces, stay at least six feet apart from others and no gatherings of more than 10 people. She also asked residents to check on the elderly, who are among the most vulnerable groups. “Check them to see if they need anything, such as medication, pick up their groceries. Let’s take care of those who took care of us.”
She added, “Please take the Coronavirus seriously. Let’s look at the blessing in the Stay-At-Home order. We are inconvenienced in the comfortable convenience of our own homes with the people we love.”
Ville Platte city councilman Mike Perron said of the governor’s order, “I think it’s a good thing just to be on the safe side. My neighbors and I visit from across the street. I’m just concerned about the small businesses like the restaurants. I hope people can continue to give them business to pick up orders. I just don’t want to see everyone suffering from this. I’m glad to see a lot of people are taking it serious, but some aren’t. They’re gathering together, and I’m concerned about that. I wish more people would take it seriously. I feel sorry for the people who have to close down.”
He also said the essential workers need to be recognized because many of them are putting in extra hours and some don’t get to see their families as much as they would like. He hopes one day soon he can turn on the news and hear something positive instead of bad news. He also said he believes the governor “did well.”
Councilman Bryant Riggs said of the stay-at-home order, “Everyone should be following the governor’s orders, especially the orders of the CDC. We need to take this unique circumstance seriously. Lives could be put at risk, and the more people gather in public, the more risk we take. We need to be vigilant and mindful of what we’re being told and taking that information and processing it, making sure we’re being healthy and safe.”
He added citizens should be diligent of the essential workers and their duties and responsibilities, health care, grocery stores, sanitation, first responders, and others. He said citizens should not be on the road or out on the street if they do not have to be, because it helps first responders tend to emergency cases more efficiently. He added, “I understand being weary, but it’s a time to have faith and stand strong and fight this virus. The only way to fight it is to not allow it to travel, and the way do that is to do our part and stay home and practice social distancing. This is the real deal. It can get worse only because of us.”
The governor’s stay at home order will expire Monday, April 13, at which time he will re-evaluate the circumstances. According to Edwards, Louisiana has more cases of COVID-19 per capita than every U.S. state, with the exception of Washington and New York.
Mayor Vidrine concluded, “We will protect ourselves together. We will take care of each other together. We will get through this together. Pray without ceasing.”