Dear Gov. Newsom,
Thank you for your leadership during the current pandemic in California.
As we enter the sixth month since California's initial shutdown, we have to face the reality that we are running out of time. I believe this is the moment for moonshot thinking. We need to come together like our lives depend on it — because they do.
So I am writing to urge you to do everything possible to further reduce the spread of coronavirus in our great state, including keeping current restrictions in place for as long as needed and implementing further restrictions. This might sound counterintuitive coming from the owner of a small retail business in the Bay Area that's been heavily impacted by the crisis. But, in fact, I believe that the current moment calls for putting our community's well-being ahead of our short-term individual interests. I am convinced that we can handle another lockdown, but we won't survive a prolonged crisis that drags on for months or years.
Our staff and many members of our community feel strongly that we need to do more to contain the spread of coronavirus, and that the leadership of this effort needs to come from the state level. The time has passed for counties to get this job done by making their own decisions at the local level. The infection is too widespread, counties have been struggling to contain it, there is too much mobility, and as a result counties and communities are no longer isolated and siloed. Therefore, we ask that the state of California play a stronger hand and be more direct in mandating what counties and cities should be doing to contain the pandemic.
We believe we can do better than accepting that we have to continue living with the current levels of infection until a vaccine arrives. We can do much better! And we need you to lead from the state level and help all Californians come together to contain this pandemic to a far greater level.
Governor, you are the leader of the fifth largest economy in the world with an annual economic output greater than France, Canada, or Russia. The Fortune 500 list is studded with companies based in California. Thanks to Silicon Valley, California has become synonymous with innovation and technology. Individuals and companies will rise to the challenge and support you, but you have to clearly state that we are going to do everything it takes to contain this pandemic until it's negligible in scope.
You have the power to close our borders, order curfews, call in the National Guard, borrow large sums of money, build partnerships with companies and other states: There is so much more you can do from the state level. Let's do what needs to be done and put a hard brake to contain this damn virus. We need your resolve, your creative leadership, and strict enforcement.
We know there will be sacrifices involved — there already have been — but the job isn't done yet. We know what we are asking will cause short-term pain, but it's worth it to forestall more long-term damage. We know your job is no easier because you have the power to make big decisions, but we urge you to make this decision because it's in the best interest for the greatest number, including those who are most vulnerable to the ongoing devastation of a prolonged pandemic.
Praveen Madan is CEO of Kepler's Books in Menlo Park. A more detailed version of this letter includes 10 reasons for demanding urgent containment measures and can be found online at tinyurl.com/keplersguestopinion.