Saturday, September 26, 2020

Hard decisions ultimately lead to victory

| March 25, 2020 1:00 AM

If there’s a place in America that’s more business-friendly than this, please point it out.

Because that’s difficult to do, the decision by mayors and city councils throughout Kootenai County to shut down bars and heavily restrict restaurants is all the more astonishing.

And commendable.

The guess here is that not one of those mayors and very few of the council members took any delight in forcing businesses to do something many might not have done otherwise. The elected officials know we’re blessed with great businesses here, many locally owned. They also know owner greed is too easy a culprit to blame when businesses do their all to keep the lights on. In so many cases, employers are doing their utmost to keep food on their employees’ families’ tables and a roof over their heads.

Local governments stepped in because they felt they had to. Now well-established health guidelines must be followed if COVID-19 has any chance of being checked before far more damage can be done. And frankly, folks, too many of us as consumers and as citizens have not been doing our share.

Is it because we don’t understand the danger? Don’t respect it?

Does a sense of invulnerability shadow us at lethal risk to others, if not ourselves?

This divided nation is holding true to that painful theme even in the midst of a pandemic. One side believes sheltering in place — or house arrest, as columnist Steve Cameron only half-jokingly referred to it the other day — is the only prudent course. The other side believes withdrawal will lead to surrender, not eventual victory.

If ever bold leadership were needed, this would be a fine time. Businesses that through no fault of their own are teetering on the brink of extinction should get a hand up.

But as is always the case, what this ultimately comes down to is personal choice. It’s up to each of us to do what we now should fully understand is right.