Extreme measures are being taken in one part of the country to combat the coronavirus.
According to CBS News, the governor of New Mexico has shut down all roads leading to the city of Gallup, a coronavirus hotspot in the state.
Next level lockdown
At the request of Gallup’s mayor, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) invoked the state’s Riot Control Act to section Gallup off from the rest of the state.
“Effective at 12 p.m., May 1, all roads into Gallup are closed,” the press release read. “Businesses in the city of Gallup will close from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. Vehicles may only have a maximum of two individuals. Residents of the city should remain at home except for emergency outings and those essential for health, safety and welfare.”
Violations of the order will be met with misdemeanor charges. The Riot Control Act could further be invoked to even stop people from being out on public streets.
“These changes do not make our fight against the virus any easier; in fact, New Mexicans’ obligation to our social contract only deepens as we enter the next phase,” Grisham continued. “The best defense against this virus, until there is a vaccine, is physical distance from other people.”
Gallup, a city of roughly 22,000, has apparently been hit very hard by the coronavirus.
According to New Mexico’s Department of Health, the county in which Gallup is located, McKinley County, has seen over 1,027 confirmed coronavirus cases and 19 deaths. Grisham says that this accounts for “more than 30 percent of the state’s total positive COVID-19 cases and the most positive cases in the entire state, outstripping even far more populous counties.”
Jack McKinney, the outgoing mayor of Gallup who requested the lockdown, described the situation as a “crisis of the highest order.”
“The virus has caused many deaths, stretched medical facilities and resources to their capacity, and adversely impacted the welfare of the city of Gallup,” he wrote. “Our community is unable to adequately address the outbreak without the imposition of certain restrictions necessary to regulate social distancing, public gatherings, sales of good, and the use of public streets.”
The road closures are currently scheduled to end on May 4th.
Our prayers are certainly with the people of Gallup. One wonders if this is a case of the cure being worse than the disease.