Skubick: “Mask Up” call not unlike “Buckle Up” from decades ago


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaking at a briefing Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With  Michigan on the wrong trajectory of COVID-19 cases increasing at a concerning rate, the governor is facing a huge challenge of convincing more persons to mask up.

And Michigan has been at this crossroads before.

Earlier this spring after the first two cases were recorded, the case load shot up to 40,000 within 55 days.  

The governor has reset the 55-day clock hoping the same thing doesn’t happen again.

But the governor’s task is to change human behavior and that does not happen overnight.

And to prove how daunting that task is of changing human behavior, Michigan was at a similar turning point in 1985 when it was first recommended that everyone buckle up to save lives, sort of like the “Mask Up” mantra the governor repeats right now. 

And like now, back then only about 20% of the motorist did use their seat belts.  

Many complained this was an infringement on their personal freedoms.

Sound familiar?

Many of them did not believe lives could be saved.

Sound familiar?

And many ignored the law.

Sound familiar?

Finally in 2004, the compliance rate for seat belt usage topped at 98%.

But that change in human behavior took a whopping 24 years.

This governor does not have 24 years to drive down the virus curve once more.

She’s got 55 days and if the numbers turn flip flop by then, in-school education may not happen and certainly more lives will be lost.

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