Reposted with permission from The Tampa Bay Guardian
Hillsborough County Commission Chairwoman Patricia Kemp (D) yesterday voted for two new local laws that place additional COVID restrictions on local businesses. People in Hillsborough County may no longer stand at bars to eat and drink, gather on dance floors, and so-called “congregating areas” in nightclubs are prohibited. The new ordinance also requires that businesses make a reasonable attempt to enforce these local orders.
Importantly, Kemp failed to disclose that she was chairing today’s meeting from Toronto, Canada, a city under lockdown due to COVID. Kemp is in Toronto on personal business, and will therefore currently not have to live under or enforce the new restrictions she voted for. Hillsborough county businesses, individuals and law enforcement will.
Kemp voted to prohibit “congregation areas” in nightclubs, without evidence that such restrictions would alleviate COVID, while still allowing people congregate in malls, Costco, Sam’s Club, airports and other places.
As mentioned above, businesses are required to enforce all these new restrictions. However, some fed up businesses may decide that “calling the police” will be their sole enforcement mechanism.
Apart from not really believing that COVID is a crisis, it appears that Kemp also doesn’t believe that we have a “climate crisis.” Kemp spoke of a “climate crisis” during her re-election campaign. Kemp’s 2,190 air mile roundtrip to Toronto and airport transfers puts approximately 1,000 pounds of additional carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere. By comparison, the average person exhales about 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide on an average day.
Had Kemp traveled to Toronto by bus instead of flying, her carbon dioxide impact would have been reduced by 55 – 77%. Yes, the trip would have taken longer, but do we have a crisis or don’t we?
Perhaps Pat Kemp should stay out of the county and out of the country until COVID is completely over? That way, she won’t ever have to comply with the restrictions she imposes on others, and residents won’t have to wonder if she brought back disease from that COVID hotspot she traveled to.
Kemp could also spend her time away learning a new concept: “flight shame.” It’s a sentiment that acts as an antidote to hypocrisy.