THE ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
While the coronavirus has schools closing down across the nation, Democrats wondering whether to shut down their 2020 presidential primary election and Gov. Mike Dunleavy declaring a health emergency in Alaska, you have to wonder:
What about signature-gathering such as that being carried out now in Alaska by Recall Dunleavy? It is very up close and personal. Does it not present a serious health threat? Is it not the very definition of such a threat? Why is it still allowed?
Paid signature gatherers – and who pays those working for Recall Dunleavy remains anybody’s guess – position themselves in the busiest places to approach the maximum number of potential petition signers.
They must get within veritable coughing distance to signers, and their clipboards are sneezed on and handled by who knows how many people during the course of a day – as are their pens and other materials. At the end of the day, those things must be akin to petri dishes.
Signature-gatherers might as well have signs proclaiming: “Get your virus right here.”
None of that is good in today’s circumstances. It is the kind of thing that can only help spread the coronavirus. A cough here. A sneeze there. The next thing you know, we are all ill. It is nothing short of astounding that people do not flee when they see the signature-takers.
Given the serious public health risks such face-to-face contact in crowded places presents to the public, it would be more than just wise to consider shutting down such exercises – not only in Alaska, but across the nation.
It is the right thing to do.