Minimizing our unnecessary risks

Greenfield Daily Reporter

What a time we are living in.

Nothing about this experience has been easy for any of us. The uncertainty and fear have weighed on us. We have been forced to suspend certain individual freedoms in order to protect the whole.

Along the way, we have chafed — understandably — at some of the things we have been asked to do. Or not do.

It’s as important today as it was a month ago to pay close attention to the guidelines our state and local governments have put in place to keep us safe.

And yet, a number of concerned people have reached out to us with concerns about businesses that have continued to operate normally. Our callers say these businesses either are afoul of what constitutes an “essential” business under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive orders; or that they are operating recklessly, without regard to the health of their own employees and their customers.

Or sometimes both.

We feel for these people, a number of whom insist they are in harm’s way every time they go to work. We also feel for the business owners, who are facing decisions they never dreamed they’d have to make. Holcomb has left the definition of an “essential” business somewhat vague — the order included some 20 categories of businesses that fit the definition — so it is widely subject to interpretation.

He has since put in place a process for people to follow if they think a business is being reckless or taking unnecessary risks. We encourage employees to take advantage of that process, which includes an enforcement function being overseen by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. (The complaint process may be accessed at

And we encourage businesses to pay close attention as talk begins to ramp up about “re-opening” the economy.

Business owners and individuals should comply with all guidelines set by the state and local governments. That includes the state and local health departments, whose stature, gratefully, has grown during this pandemic.

We are making progress in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The draconian measures are working. This is a time when we must all pull together. Government should continue to work hard to minimize the awful dilemmas that business owners — and employees — continue to face.

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