Opinion | Scott M. Estill: It’s time to move on | SummitDaily.com
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Opinion | Scott M. Estill: It’s time to move on

Scott M. Estill
Challenges Choices Changes

It seems to me that those who complain the most (and often the loudest) are those who are last in line to offer any solutions. A recent opinion column headline in this newspaper of a “grave injustice” being done in our community is a perfect example. The headline caught my attention, although I will admit that after rereading the column, I’m still not sure what the grave injustice actually is. Presumably it somehow involves the exercise of the author’s First Amendment rights. A quick reminder on the first amendment is that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I most assuredly respect the freedom of the press, but I also believe that sometimes commentators need to be called out for their writings. I would start with simply asking: What laws have been passed in D.C. or Denver that are restricting any constitutional rights? Well, according to the author, Vail Resorts now requires guests over the age of 12 to be vaccinated to dine at an on-mountain restaurant this ski season. OK, fair enough. No reason a publicly traded business can’t make an informed business decision about what works best for its business model. However, simply because you disagree with something does not make it a violation of some perceived constitutional right. What this business decision has to do with the First Amendment I will never know.

But the real gist of the column concerned the usual suspects, including the wearing of masks. Enough already. They work. It’s science, not politics, and certainly has nothing to do with anyone’s First Amendment rights. Mask coverings were first recommended for surgeons in 1906 and became a staple for medical providers during the Manchurian plague of 1911. Hopefully the next time surgery is required, your surgeon will follow science and wear a mask.



And for anyone to suggest that the spread of COVID-19 is an “artificial crisis” is simply insulting to the families of the more than 800,000 Americans who have died from this virus. To put this in perspective, on this past 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, we mourned the loss of 2,403 American lives. We recently passed the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which 2,977 people lost their lives. The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. is the equivalent of a Pearl Harbor attack every single day in the United States for the past 333 days. Or a total of 269 9/11-type terrorist attacks on U.S. soil with the same devastation in terms of loss of life.

And that doesn’t include the people who have contracted COVID-19 and are still feeling the long-term effects. It is estimated that 30% to 40% of the more than 49.3 million confirmed U.S. cases will experience COVID-19 effects up to six months (or more) after being exposed. Health care providers in Summit County will be handling thousands of the long-haulers for years to come. A fake crisis this isn’t.



Finally, the slippery-slope argument of not giving an inch on any potential infringement of any perceived right because of some notion of 100% individual freedom is very misguided and dangerous. Agree to wear a mask today, the thinking goes, and tomorrow the government will tell you which God you can worship and where you can do so. Had this been the thinking when the enemy was Nazi Germany rather than an invisible virus, who knows what the outcome of the war would have been. Sometimes people just need to pull together. Sometimes we need to think of somebody besides ourselves.

This isn’t an “us against them” type of situation. This is not some political game. This is not a governmental attempt to take control over every facet of our lives. The government is not some kind of monster lurking everywhere we turn. And look what happens when the evil government works with the private sector by contributing $18 billion to develop vaccines: We get a vaccine.

Unless there is a solution lurking somewhere within the confines of a complaint, your opinions simply don’t resonate any longer. Stop playing a victim and complaining about the perceived misdeeds and travesties currently being inflicted. If you aren’t willing to lend a hand, then at least get out of the way.

As Albert Einstein once famously stated: “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.” We need to heed his advice and move on from the negative energy currently circulating in a very vocal but minority faction of our community. Our health as we enter 2022 literally depends upon it.


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