Should Stay at Home Orders Be Enacted by State or Federal Governments?

The debate continues of whether state governments or the federal government should control the stay at home order.


James Prince , Contributing Writer

During this COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders across many states have affected almost every aspect of daily life. But, with everything involving at least a little bit of politics, it comes with some controversy. The big question on political pundit’s minds is whether these stay at home orders should be enacted by state governments or federal governments. In my opinion, it is not a one-size-fits-all kind of idea. 

As Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming puts it during a Fox News interview, “But remember that people are spread out here [in Wyoming]. We only have about five people per square mile. We have been socially distancing the entire 130 years that we have been a state.” This being said, it does not speak to the fact that people coming still could come into close contact with others. I am not an epidemiologist, but I can assure you people in Wyoming, and in other states, do not stay perfectly separated in one square mile radiuses from each other in various places such as grocery stores. 

People are going to interact with each other no matter where they go. However, it is important to remember many people in states without enacted stay-at-home orders still are religiously practicing the guidelines suggested by the CDC. Another positive upside of not having stay-at-home orders in specific states is that it helps small businesses still have income because people have the freedom to go out, spend money, and go to places that are still open. However, this is not feasible in places like New York City and Minneapolis. Lifting the stay-at-home orders helps small communities the most since they are sheltered in order to stay on their feet economically. Since I have displayed that it is not a one-size-fits-all situation, I believe that it is important for the states to decide whether or not they should have a stay-at-home order.

The majority of public officials since 1776 have made every decision with the public in mind, so I have no doubt each state will make the best decision for themselves.