Cuomo’s Erie County’s Orange Zone: Unintended consequence of closing business that might combat COVID

Using a sledgehammer to kill a fly

Yesterday’s Executive Order placing much of Erie County into the “Orange Zone” means that many businesses that actually promote health and wellness will be forced to close indefinitely, even if they have complied with all guidelines and are not implicated in spreading the virus.  Take Zoom Tan, a retail business that provides UV light treatments, which studies show help fight COVID by boosting the immune system.  Zoom Tan is considered by the State to be a “personal care” business that, by default, is too risky to stay open in Erie County.  Calling Zoom Tan a “personal care” business is quite a stretch.  There are no person-to-person interactions involved in getting the treatments — customers simply swipe their card and enter a room, which is disinfected after they exit.  There’s less contact among humans at a Zoom Tan than at liquor stores, which are staying open.  And there are no COVID cases associated with patrons or employees of Zoom Tan.  Shutting a business like this down is irrational and contrary to the Governor’s admirable goal of keeping New Yorkers safe and healthy while allowing the economy to remain as open as possible.  Governor Cuomo, do you know what your bureaucrats are doing in your name?

Obviously, there are no easy answers to handling the pandemic.  But if the aim is to “follow the science,” then each business should be analyzed individually from a benefit-risk perspective.  Don’t shut down businesses that provide health benefits during a pandemic through arbitrary designations.  Don’t use a sledgehammer to kill a fly.

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