LONSBERRY: Bello Covid Plan Makes Sense


He said vax, boost, mask and test.

               What he didn’t say was mandate.

               And that’s a deal I can live with.

               When Monroe County Executive Adam Bello stood up this morning and announced his intention to keep the area’s businesses, stores, churches and schools open through this winter’s covid season, he made it a request, not an order.

               And that’s good.

               That’s a win.

               That’s consistent with the way America is supposed to be run.

               And it’s the exact opposite of how things were last year and for the many months before. When covid broke out, the Democrats who control New York immediately went to the shutdown, to political mandates and a dramatic expansion of government power. They destroyed businesses and livelihoods, hobbled the economy, had the worst covid casualties in the country, and significantly embittered a sizable portion of the population.

               And they left freedom bruised and broken on the ground.

               It was bad. And we said we wanted it to change.

               And this Adam Bello initiative seems to be that change.

               He is speaking against shutdowns, and he is asking, not ordering. He is protecting the economy, our normal social function, and our individual rights.

               And that’s exactly what we asked for.

               So I think we ought to meet him in the middle.

               I believe most people will find his requests reasonable, and I think there is a fair chance that, taken together, they will provide benefit.

               Vax, boost, mask and test – with the testing taking place before we take part in large gatherings. Against the omicron variant especially, the test may be the only truly effective measure, but each of these steps makes sense and gives people some way to potentially protect themselves and a normal, open, functioning society.

               Not that people won’t get sick, not that this will make covid go away, not that masks, vaccines or boosters are perfect.

               But this is a good deal.

               And it’s what we asked for.

               We get to live our lives, and we get to live them without a county mandate stuck in our craw or on our face.

               Certainly, we will make different decisions. We will make our own choices. But I don’t have any problem with being vaccinated – and have been for months. I also don’t have any problem with being boostered – and have been for months. And in the give and take of life, I can wear a mask. And if the mask bothers me too much, I can stay out of stores for a while.

               There is nothing wrong with a government that asks, or tries to persuade. It is OK to recommend, and to lead campaigns to shape public opinion and behavior. The government, at all levels, has done that since the earliest days.

               But the final decision is ours.

               And that seems to be the way Adam Bello left it.

               And I think we should support him. There is nothing gained by opposing this initiative because it is his or because it doesn’t conform exactly to this view or that view on masks and vaccines and viruses. America is a big place, there are a lot of people with a lot of opinions. Government in a Republic is about compromises and coalitions, about doing the most good for the most people in an environment of different thought and priority.

               And Adam Bello seems to have found an acceptable middle ground.

               Certainly, it will disappoint the progressives who cower in fear of the virus, just as it will disappoint the conservatives who laugh at the virus. But it will work well for most.

               And it shows that he came over to our point of view.

               He has pledged to avoid shutdowns. He has invited us to help prevent shutdowns. He has offered what he thinks will work, and he has offered it as a request – not a demand.

               It would be foolish to let obstinance or partisan bias fuel the instinct to push back, to oppose for the sake of opposition.

               Further, there is the opportunity to use this as a demonstration project, a test to prove that an open society without mandates can work. As the governor threatens vaccine mandates for children, and believes her healthcare worker vaccine mandate was a success, the impulse of the state government is still to demand and dictate. As New York City begins rigid mandates and returns to some shutdowns, the Democrat impulse to command and control is evident.

               This may be an opportunity to show that that isn’t necessary.

               And I’ll take it.

               This is a good deal. This is what we asked for.

               I’m all for making it work.


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