Use this letter to ask your mayor and governor to issue mandatory shelter-in-place orders to slow the coronavirus & COVID-19 pandemic

I recently sent letters to my city’s mayor and my state’s governor asking them to issue mandatory shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you will, too.

I’ve included a link for a downloadable and customizable version of the following letter at the bottom of this post. Please download it, edit it in whatever way you see fit and send it to your mayor and the governor of your state as soon as possible. Remember to include your contact information.

Fargo, N.D. residents, send your letter to Mayor Tim Mahoney using this form, or call him at 701-241-1310. If you’re in another U.S. city, search your city’s website for contact information.

North Dakota citizens can contact Gov. Doug Burgum directly through the online contact form, or email his constituent service representative, Shelley Haugen, at If you’re from another state, find your governor’s contact information here.

Here’s the letter:

The Honorable FirstName LastName
Mayor, City of YourCity
Governor, State of Your State


Dear Mayor/Governor LastName:

I’m writing today to ask that you issue a citywide/statewide mandatory shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. My hope is you believe in the science and mathematics of what’s happening, and that the data will convince you to take this action.

You’ve seen the charts and graphs regarding the exponential increase in coronavirus and COVID-19 cases that will occur in the absence of social distancing. This one (, by Johns Hopkins University, is especially enlightening regarding the growth of U.S. cases. One can see clearly what’s been happening over the past three weeks, not to mention how the virus has spread through other countries that are, from an infection timeline standpoint, further along than the United States. We should be learning from their experiences and successful spread-inhibiting tactics, especially mandatory shelter-in-place orders.

We know what’s coming in the absence of more proactive measures, orders that are enforceable rather than voluntary.

As I’m sure you’re aware, scientists, immunologists and other medical professionals are warning that, while we might still have the opportunity to “flatten the curve” ( of virus spread, if we don’t take action now there will be thousands of deaths, perhaps hundreds of thousands, that would not have occurred had we done the right thing earlier.

Earlier is now.

Every person who does not take this pandemic seriously enough, who leaves their home and mingles with others, increases the risk to their own lives, the lives of anyone they come into contact with and the lives of frontline healthcare workers who will need to care for them and the people they’ve infected.

If leaders like you do not limit social contact to the greatest extent possible, cases will spike, our hospitals will be overwhelmed and the shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment will further endanger patients’ and healthcare professionals.

For individual citizens, taking action means taking no action at all.

To stay safe, to stay healthy, we need to stay home.

Unfortunately, as we’ve seen from news stories ( and videos ( from around the nation – and as you have now pointed out yourself – the sad truth is that some people simply refuse to follow social distancing guidelines on their own.

For you, as mayor/governor, taking action means using your power to limit social contact.

It is not mere hyperbole to say that right now, at this moment, you have an opportunity to save lives.

Please take it.

Thank you in advance for your time, consideration and leadership.


FirstName LastName
City, ST  ZIP00
Email Address



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Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), proud introvert, veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, blogger ( nonprofit founder ( and big-time reader. As they say, if you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff. A ginger, too - ergo the "Red" - although some of it's going white. Cinnamon-Sugar, I call it. Tattooed to boot; seven so far. At age 54, I'm stilling crankin' AC/DC & Metallica, but now and again I spin some Eric Church and Black Uhuru, too. I love hanging out with my (much) better half, spending time with our kids, writing, hiking, riding my mountain bike and reading.

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What Are You Waiting For Governor? Commissioners? Mayors? - IV Words - The Progressive Perspective · April 17, 2023 at 7:49 am

[…] week, I wrote a letter to N.D. Gov. Doug Burgum, asking him to issue a statewide, mandatory shelter-in-place order. I provided a version of that […]

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