Letter to the Editor

The fight against the Coronavirus is serious, and hundreds of thousands of lives in the U.S. are at stake.

The saying attributed to Thomas Paine, one of America’s founding fathers, reads: “Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way,” but may need to be updated: “Lead, Follow or Stay Home.” That last part, the change, might also be followed by the potential of facing serious charges.  For most of the population, the transmission of the Coronavirus is largely preventable, but it takes precautions from those with and those without the Coronavirus, and many lives will be saved of social distancing is obeyed by those not considered ‘essential.’. If one doesn’t take those precautions to prevent its spread, that is reckless endangerment of oneself and of others. The murder rate last week in the U.S. was 25 times less than those who died from the virus and that differential keeps climbing. Reckless endangerment, like by driving a car drunk, or like by spreading the Coronavirus causes deaths and is a potentially prosecutable crime. If one’s reckless endangerment leads to the death of another, then possibly charges of first-degree or second-degree reckless homicide should be filed. Perhaps it is best to just read those two Wisconsin statutes, which are:

940.02 (1) Whoever recklessly causes the death of another human being under circumstances which show utter disregard for human life is guilty of a Class B felony.

940.06 (1) Second-degree reckless homicide: Whoever recklessly causes the death of another human being is guilty of a Class D felony.

Terry O’Neill, Lake Geneva resident, candidate for city alderperson and former city activist

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