Facts matter. And it's a fact that a recent DHM Research survey found that 82% of Oregonians support Governor Brown's Stay Home, Save Lives orders. Here's the graphic from the first survey release.
You can read about the findings in this DHM Research PDF file.
Download COVID Survey--Annotated--March 2020
Below is an excerpt from the report about the overwhelming support for stay at home orders, and how this undercuts the claim of right-wing activists that people want Oregon opened up for business as soon as possible.
Oregonians overwhelmingly support the state’s stay at home orders.
82% of Oregonians support the state’s stay at home orders, including a whopping 60% who “strongly” support them. Support is wide and deep.
It cuts across geography, political party, and among those most financially harmed by the lockdowns. By area, the orders are supported by 84% in the Portland metro, 85% in the Willamette Valley and 75% in the rest of the state.
By party, the orders are supported by 95% of Democrats, 72% of Republicans, and 77% of NAV/others. And 83% of those with a job or income loss also support the orders.
Protests advocating against stay at home orders have popped up nationally and in Oregon. This data gives insight into how representative, or not, they are.
The protests have a definite partisan make up, with Republicans and supporters of President Trump clearly visible. And recently, President Trump seemed to be encouraging the protests with a Tweet saying that some states should be “liberated.”
However, the views of the protestors are a distinctly minority view, not only of Oregonians generally, but Republicans specifically.
As noted above, 72% of Republicans support the stay at home order. However, that does leave 28% of Republicans who oppose the orders (as do 20% of NAV/other voters) which is a sufficient number to organize protests.
I've heard that a protest is planned at the Capitol building in early May. After searching Facebook for mentions of "reopen Oregon," I found several groups espousing this goal. But I didn't find any mention of a protest here in Salem.
I found this offensive for several reasons:
(1) My daughter has been furloughed from her job because of the COVID-19 crisis. For 13 years she was the sales manager for a small designer eyewear company in Orange County. They've gotten a federal small business loan, so she might be back in work in May, probably at a reduced salary.
Losing her job disrupted her family immensely. But she supports California's stay at home order because she knows that money is much less important than staying alive. So in no way would she equate a COVID-19 speed bump that slows her career with someone dying from the virus.
(2) I'm 71. My wife is 70. She has asthma. Thus both of us are in a high-risk category because of age, with my wife also having an underlying medical condition that could increase her risk if she got the virus. We have been staying home as much as possible. We wear a mask and gloves when we go grocery shopping or to the pharmacy.
Young people may think that people our age are fine with dying because we've lived 70-some years. News flash: when you get to be 70, that age doesn't seem all that old. Now we want to live to be 80. And 80 year olds want to live to be 90. So long as life is worth living, life is precious.
So please, protesters who want to open up Oregon immediately, exercise your compassion. Think about your parent or grandparent who will be put at greater risk. Imagine how you would feel if you knew that getting the coronavirus from someone not wearing a mask and standing too close to you could cause your death.
Wouldn't it be worth it to save your life by extending the Stay Home, Save Lives orders until public health experts say it is time to relax them? Would you be willing to die so a restaurant or bar could open up a few weeks early?
I doubt it. So don't inflict the risk of premature death onto other people. Forget protesting the stay at home orders. Remember to wash your hands often, wear a mask when you go out in public, and stay six feet away from other people.