When Big Government is Too Big to Care

The benefit of being human is that we are all uniquely different. The problem with big government is that when it becomes too big it is impossible to address individual needs.

Governor Whitmer and her department heads, including but not limited to the Director of Health and Human Services, Robert Gordon, led with poor judgment, lack of proof, and questionable science during the COVID19 pandemic. I know first-hand because I watched my mother suffer at the hands of unreasonable executive orders and she continues to reel from the experience today.

My mother is 95 years old and lives in a senior community (not a nursing home) here in Traverse City. It is a wonderful community composed of individual apartments. She enjoyed her independence and had a great quality of life, in spite of visual and hearing limitations. Social interactions with other residents, activities, outings and gourmet meals provided her joy and kept her incredibly active and mentally alert.

She was doing so well, until Governor Whitmer and Director Gordon imposed restrictions that took away her quality of life. These restrictions did not balance safety and protection from the COVID virus with the quality of life necessary for individuals like my mom who, at 95, treasures every day of living. I spent the large part of 2020 watching my beloved mother go from her sharp, witty, happy personality to someone with declining mental capacity, due to the lack of personal contact as a direct result of the State Executive Orders.

I tracked the daily COVID cases, deaths, and hospitalizations by county reported by the State of Michigan on its Michigan.gov/coronavirus website. Throughout the spring, summer and early fall, the Traverse City region had few cases. The local hospital frequently reported no hospitalizations. Although the State reported the goal was to “flatten the curve”, there was no curve to flatten throughout Northwest Michigan. Yet the Governor kept our seniors locked down unnecessarily. The data did not drive their decisions. I could not visit my mother in her apartment nor could she leave the community for a dinner out or shopping without being forced into a subsequent “quarantine” even without an exposure.

Finally in October under the Public Health Act, Director Gordon issued guidance on senior community visitation. The guidance identified that visitation was allowed in any county in Level A or B, according to the MI Start Plan, developed by the University of Michigan. I checked the website and found the Traverse City region to be at level B. I was elated to know I would finally be able to visit my mother in person, in her private residence for the first time to take care of the myriad of tasks I performed for her up until the shutdown. I called the Senior Community Director to schedule a visit only to be told that Grand Traverse County was deemed to be at level “D” requiring testing which was not available in the region (verified by the local Health Department.) Governor Whitmer’s Director Gordon unilaterally changed the status of virtually every county in the State to level “D” or “E” effectively eliminating visitation to any senior community in the State. His decision was not based on science or data.

I attempted to reach out to the media to ask them to investigate. No media source would investigate.

At 95, my mother deserves QUALITY of life. We are Americans. We love our independence, and we are responsible caretakers of ourselves. She and I, as mother and daughter, should be able to take our own risks using our best judgment. We do not need the State “saving” our life. At 95 years old, her days are numbered regardless of the pandemic. She deserves to live each and every day fully, as she chooses, not how Governor Whitmer decrees.

We are Americans. We love our independence, and we are responsible caretakers of ourselves.
– Diane Radloff

I understand the initial concern of the virus. But ultimately, we are all going to die at some point. As Americans, we should have the ability to choose for ourselves how the care of our loved ones is managed. And when big government policies are put in place, they should be set up so that the people can actually follow them within reason.

While Governor Whitmer was thriving on all her media attention, my dear mother was declining in health behind closed doors. This is not the way she wanted to live … No leader should be able to take this much of our freedom.
– Diane Radloff

My mother and I will not forget,
Diane Radloff