The “Lemming Effect”……

The Lemming Effect is a phenomenon wherein crowds of people, across various fields of life, exhibit a certain kind of behavior for no reason other than the fact that a majority of their peers do so”.

The numbers of virus cases have been creeping up and the driver is being attributed to the gradual reopening of business, travel, social gathering. Although expected it is painful to watch. The good news so far is that the death figures have dramatically declined and seem to be stabilized. Lots of explanations there, but it’s a lagging indicator, so we have to reserve hope on that front.

However, as I looked at the I75 traffic from an overpass about 9AM Friday, I couldn’t help but think of the “Lemming Effect”. Bumper to bumper as far as you could see, moving around 50 or so as Michigan heads north.

Now the governor closed bars back up after the incredible fiasco at Harpers in East Lansing (where 158 cases involving about 15 counties were recorded within a 10-day period). But was it really just the bar atmosphere or the “Lemming Effect” that brought fully informed (adults?) out in droves. And that happened, even though the bar was adhering to the 45 percent capacity rule.

If that same mentality is being applied in that line of vehicles pouring out of Macomb, Oakland, Wayne (Genesee?) into a conflicted northern Michigan business environment, we could be in for a serious reckoning that will affect everyone and everything we do, and soon.

All counts are recorded in the county of residence of the person contracting the virus, so the data could be very deceptive and tracing that many people, stopping so many places, would be daunting.

I drove by the same I75 overpass about 3 p.m. or so, still bumper to bumper, just moving quite a bit faster, and it’s only Friday…

Is anybody really ready for another lockdown, empty shelves, business closings (many for good) etc.? Is celebrating your “independence” for a day or two really worth losing it?

If this scene is being duplicated across the State (and Country), we are ALL about to find out in the next week or so. — Bud Meyers, Grand Blanc Township