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Up to us to avoid another lockdown

Wednesday when a reporter attempted to check COVID-19 figures at the Ohio Department of Health’s dashboard, the numbers looked familiar. They were what had been reported the day before. An explanation posted by ODH was disturbing: “Today’s data incomplete; thousand of reports are pending review.”

Gov. Mike DeWine sought to calm the fears such a statement might provoke when he said Thursday the problem was simply a “technical glitch” and not caused by a large number of new cases.

ODH spokeswoman Megan Smith gave another media outlet a slightly different answer.

“Our unprecedented case volume, combined with unexpected system errors today, and reduced staffing at already overburdened local health departments due to illness, including COVID-19, led to the delay today,” she told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Smith’s description of the situation paints a picture of technology woes, yes, but also “unprecedented case volume” we must not sweep under the rug.

We know our local hospitals are strained, health departments are having a difficult time keeping up with the work load, our schools are struggling with increasing numbers of cases and both students and staff in quarantine, and local businesses are scrambling to figure out how to keep employees safe and stay open.

Surely ODH employees have quickly addressed whatever technical glitch was causing those system errors and will ensure it does not happen again. But the rest is up to us. Failure to stem the spread of COVID-19 is pushing the system to its breaking point. Those with the power to do so will begin mandating that we behave ourselves rather than trusting us to do the right thing, because we give them no choice.

Think about the damage to our economy, and our collective psyche if a true lockdown is enforced here.

Stop pushing King Bureaucracy and our elected officials into feeling as though they have no choice.

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