Today, as Oregon's official count of positive Coronavirus tests nearly tops 100,000, Governor Kate Brown made the determination to extend the current economic lockdown through February...at the very least.
Brown stated, "As we near 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, and with hospitals and health care workers stretched to their limits, there is no doubt that COVID-19 continues to pose a public health threat," she said in a statement. "These are the darkest days in the pandemic".
The governor determined that the public health risk is so severe that she is compelled to lock down the economy and strip select citizens of their ability to run a business or make a living as an employee. Similar to eminent domain, wherein the government can force the compensated sale of land for the "public good"...in this case business owners are being stripped of their right to earn a living, pay their bills, provide employment...but the state is offering no compensation. To top it off, the state is offering marginal tax breaks to small business owners, the equivalent of a band aid to someone whom you've just decapitated.
Yet, I struggle to see within the publicly available data from the state, a pandemic that rises to the level of economic lockdown and stripping citizens (uncompensated) of their right to earn a living. Not that I want to speak of death...but to gauge the severity of the situation, the number of annual deaths rise nearly every year in Oregon, thanks to a growing and greying population. The chart below shows total annual deaths through 2020, looking rather inline with normal expectations (official data available through Oct., Nov/Dec deaths are estimated and included, as shown in lower charts). Link to Oregon Health Authority (OHA).