Letter: Government officials apparently think we've saved enough lives already

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"Stay home, save lives" sure sounded like a good concept for keeping North Dakotans healthy during a rise in coronavirus cases. But apparently the state of North Dakota and the city of Fargo are no longer interested in saving lives.

There are a lot of difficult choices and different perspectives on the best way to proceed in this situation, and many people will argue with the basic ideas on preventing the spread of infection. But one thing is absolutely certain: the government officials deciding to reopen businesses and services will not be the ones putting themselves in harm's way. It's not the governor, the mayor, or the city commissioners who will be on the front lines, working 8-hour shifts in direct contact with the public, wearing homemade masks that serve to protect others but don't offer them any protection. It's a lot easier to gamble with other people's lives and loved ones, rather than your own.

So I'm hoping to see some leadership, with these decision-makers putting themselves as directly in the path of infection, for the same periods of time, as they expect from others. Come to think of it, with all the people who never stopped working in medical care facilities, grocery stores, and other vital services, they should have been showing that kind of leadership all along, rather than increasing the dangers to these essential workers and risking more people's lives.

Before you make a knee-jack response of "but the economy," remember that the economy is made up of choices. Different choices could be made that would protect more workers and business owners from economic devastation, if the people with power were willing to make anything near the sacrifices they expect of those without it. Barring any meaningful leadership, I hope the people of Fargo will continue to stay home and save lives, use the city's online services rather than physical ones, and support local businesses by means of their no- and lowest-contact options.

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