Gov. Larry Hogan’s emergency alert message sent the evening before Thanksgiving is a foolish abuse of his powers since there was no emergency (”Maryland to step up enforcement of coronavirus restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving with help of state police,” Nov. 23). The alert informed wireless phone users to wear masks and claimed there would be heightened enforcement behind his dictates.
By definition, an emergency is a serious, unexpected situation that demands immediate attention. Fires, riots, falling through the ice, school shootings and a plane’s engine failure are just a few examples of highly dangerous situations requiring immediate remedial action that would qualify as emergencies. If you see someone not wearing a mask when required, it would be wrong to call 911 since it is not an emergency. Rather than to send an emergency alert, Governor Hogan should have sent a public safety notification or used the Maryland COVID-19 alert system.
Like the boy who cried “Wolf,” Governor Hogan’s repeated abuse of the emergency notification system presents a danger. Already, people are turning off the emergency notification feature on their cellphones, although that may endanger them in a true emergency situation.
Ellen A. Stone, Tilghman
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