Opinion | Bruce Butler: Enough is enough
Common Sense Conversations
On Jan. 31, the Summit County Board of Health’s latest COVID-19 mask mandate expires. I am reflecting the sentiment of numerous Summit County residents, business owners, parents, students and neighbors, with whom I have spoken over the past month: Let the mask mandate expire. Enough is enough!
The damage being done to the public from delayed preventative medicine, delayed medical procedures, pandemic paranoia, the implosion of civil liberties, the dehumanization of people with different opinions, and personal isolation and loneliness far outweigh the imminent danger of COVID-19 at this point. This is especially true in one of the most physically healthy counties in the United States.
Our most acute COVID-19 challenges are not the virus but increased substance abuse, other mental and behavior health issues and even suicides as a result of the ongoing public policy group think. Enough is enough.
Reportedly, 84% of Summit County residents are either fully vaccinated or vaccinated and boosted. Anybody in Summit County who is inclined to get the COVID-19 shots and or a booster has done so. The rest have either had COVID-19 and have some natural immunity, or they have some other personal, religious or medical reason for not getting the shot. Nothing the government does or threatens to do is going to change that. To paraphrase Moses and subsequent civil rights leaders, “Let the people go!” Enough is enough.
I have voluntarily received all the COVID-19 shots and a booster. My family has done the same. My approach to COVID-19 preventatives is not a recent conversion. For years, I have been an annual flu shot guy under the logic of, “I hope I do not get the flu, but if I do, I hope it is a mild flu.” However, the reality is, everybody I know who has had COVID-19 over the past two months has been fully vaccinated.
So, looking to the future, I hope Big Pharma guesses the most likely variants for the upcoming virus season, but the vaccine is not a magic bullet, and there are no guarantees. Whether you have the shots or not, COVID-19 is a seasonal illness at this point. Is government going to take the same approach against cold and flu? It is time to end the mandates. Enough is enough.
I have previously written that it is hard to sit in the big chairs, which is true. When curveballs come your way and demand action, you need to work hard to expeditiously get the best information available to make the best decision you can. The problem with most policymakers (elected and unelected) is that their egos prevent them from easily adapting to changing information and circumstances, so if the original, best-intentioned, limited-information decision was wrong, they cannot admit the original policy was incorrect and pivot to whatever new circumstances require. Instead, they double-down on previous failed policy and add more and more regulations on top of one another to allegedly solve the problem. This has certainly happened with COVID-19, and it eventually erodes confidence in government institutions and leadership.
I compare this political phenomenon to getting on a highway and gaining more and more speed as you drive down the road. The more politicians stake their reputations and careers to a decision, the harder it is to slow down and take the exit ramp. Eventually, common sense is lost, hard science becomes political science, and civil rights and liberties are trampled beyond anyone’s previous imagination. Locally, nationally and internationally, COVID-19 has reached this point. Enough is enough.
To our local board of health, it is time to take the off-ramp. The Biden administration’s current focus is a year late and a trillion dollars over budget. Cloth and pseudo surgical masks are ineffective, and even the latest virtue-signaling KN-95 masks are pointless because they are used improperly and not changed out frequently enough. We needed widespread testing one year ago, prior to vaccine availability. Today, widespread testing just keeps the pandemic narrative limping along. Good public policy should be laser-focused on therapeutics and access to treatment. It is time to end the mask and other COVID-19 mandates.
Enough is enough!
Bruce Butler’s column “Common Sense Conversations” publishes biweekly on Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Butler is a former mayor and council member in Silverthorne, where he has lived for 20 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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