Senior customer shopping during special elderly hours at a Safeway grocery store during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Senior customer shopping during special elderly hours at a Safeway grocery store during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo via Shutterstock)

Gov. Whitmer is not letting the state drop its guard even though Michigan is on track to contain the coronavirus. Some say that’s a good thing.

MICHIGAN — Oakland County septuagenarian Bernadine Williams has nothing but praise for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her Stay Home, Stay Safe Order

“I love the Big G,” Williams said. “She’s amazing. I love her.”

Her praise is well-justified: According to The Detroit News, the very same stay-at-home orders that brought armed protesters to the Michigan Capitol this spring perhaps saved tens of thousands of lives.

Thursday, Gov. Whitmer extended the state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic until July 16. Maintaining a state of emergency allows her to continue taking action to protect Michigan families and workers. 

“I’m really proud of her,” Williams said. “I am so proud of her, I don’t know what to do. That woman from Michigan is on point.” 

“That woman from Michigan” (referencing a Twitter jab from President Trump @GovWhitmer gone viral) has worked tirelessly to protect all Michiganders from the coronavirus, including essential workers and vulnerable populations trying to go about their daily lives. 

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Thanks to swift and decisive action from Gov. Whitmer, Michigan is now one of three states on track to contain the novel coronavirus, reports The Detroit News

But experts are still warning that the fight against COVID-19 is far from over, and Gov. Whitmer is listening. 

Grocery Run? Grab a Mask

In addition to extending the state of emergency Thursday, Gov. Whitmer also extended protections for consumers and employees at grocery stores and pharmacies. 

“Michigan has emerged as a national leader in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is more work to do to protect families from this virus. This executive order will help us continue to protect employees and customers at grocery stores and pharmacies,” Gov. Whitmer said in a press release. “I encourage all Michiganders to practice social distancing and wear a face mask when they are out in public so we can protect the heroes on the front lines of this crisis and avoid a second wave of COVID-19.”

Her executive order, which continues through July 15, requires customers who can medically tolerate a face mask to wear one when entering a grocery store or pharmacy. 

It also mandates grocery stores and pharmacies allocate at least two hours per week of shopping time for vulnerable populations, including people over 60, pregnant people, and those with chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

MORE RESOURCES: COVID-19 Michigan Seniors Resources: Safe Shopping, Delivery During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Better Safe Than Sorry

Bernadine Williams has her daughters to pick up groceries for her, and she’s glad to see protections extend in stores for their sake and the sake of all Michiganders. 

When The ‘Gander spoke with Ms. Williams, she was riding in the car with her husband and noted how many people she saw around her without masks on. 

She said that if she could share a message with all of her fellow Michiganders, it would be to follow the rules. 

“Have your mask, your gloves, and keep your hands clean. Use hand sanitizer. Just follow the rules, practice safe social distancing, and I think, you know, people will be okay.” 

She admitted that it’s not an ideal situation, but said she keeps an old adage in mind: Better safe than sorry. 

“Well, I’m a little sad because it extended to July 15th,” Williams said. “However, her [Gov. Whitmer’s] judgment has been on point, so I don’t really have a problem. And I’m fortunate enough, I have a husband and kids that, you know, I have everything I need. 

“I’m a very social person, so I’m a little disappointed that we have to keep this six-foot social distancing because we haven’t had any friends over. We haven’t had any time to entertain and whatnot. We haven’t been able to do that. But I trust her judgment.” 

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