Letter: Put away your crayons, Gov. Burgum, and start leading
There are many who believe that measures taken to control the virus will damage the state’s economy, apparently unaware that the full recovery of the economy can’t be achieved until the citizenry is free from the fear COVID-19.
Governor Burgum, is there still no need for an enforced mask mandate?
Does your strategy of not infringing on “individual rights” and depending on “individual responsibility” seem to be working well? (I read recently that North Dakota, if treated as a separate entity, has the highest number of infections per capita in the world!)
The fundamental flaw in your logic is that individuals who choose not to wear a mask are putting at risk the health and safety, even potentially the lives, of everyone with whom they come in contact. There is absolutely no doubt that if everyone wore a mask, it would significantly reduce the spread of the virus, so not wearing a mask isn’t really an individual choice. It affects everyone in the community. It’s a deliberate decision not to protect one’s friends and neighbors.
Would you apply that same strategy to other risky behavior in the state? It is, of course, quite dangerous to others when an individual drives a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but following your “individual-responsibility” philosophy, we shouldn’t have a law against it or any penalty for it, right? Instead, the state should just encourage citizens not to drive under the influence and hope that most will voluntarily comply. That way we wouldn’t be infringing on anyone’s individual freedom to choose.
If that sounds absurd, it’s because it is; and so is your refusal to require masks.
The responsibility of government is to provide for the general welfare of the population, and one might expect that protecting the health and safety of citizens should be the highest priority; but it’s clear that you have abdicated your responsibility as a leader. Your inaction has resulted in unnecessary deaths, not to mention many who will suffer long-term health consequences after experiencing the virus.
Letter: Forget herd immunity, what we're doing is culling the herd
Letter: Give me liberty or give me death I feared that the North Dakotan citizen support of the importance of liberty would diminish in the face of this virus. The support of liberty has not weakened in the least, allowing the virus complete liberty to advance through the population unimpeded by weak-kneed impediments like masking, social distancing and other steps to diminish viral liberty.
The sum total of your efforts to protect North Dakotans from COVID-19 seems to consist of taking a map of the state’s counties and a set of color crayons, and every now and then changing the colors for a county or two, which most of the residents promptly ignore, if they are aware of it at all.
There are many who believe that measures taken to control the virus will damage the state’s economy, apparently unaware that the full recovery of the economy can’t be achieved until the citizenry is free from the fear COVID-19. More to the point, a mask-wearing mandate would enhance economic activity. If citizens were confident that everyone would be wearing a mask, it would encourage some reluctant consumers to venture out more often.
A recent CBS/YouGov poll found that 57% of Republicans say that the death toll from Covid-19 is “acceptable.” I presume that means it’s acceptable as long as someone they love isn’t one of the fatalities.
I’m a retired teacher, and I’m enjoying life, hoping for another decade or two, and I’m in an age group that is especially vulnerable to this virus. I want to take this opportunity to tell the 57% of my Republican friends, apparently including Burgum, how resentful I am that they view me as expendable and show such callous disregard for the health and the lives of so many.
Erickson lives in Fargo.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.