Letter: Can’t have it both ways
I read with consternation and disappointment Heath Harmon’s column on “Uprooting Racism Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic.” While Mr. Harmon does a laudable job at explaining the racism inherent in our society and even in Eagle County, he fails at acknowledging the clear double standard and hypocrisy of his position. He and other public health officials have been telling us for three months that COVID-19 is a very dangerous and deadly virus, so dangerous and deadly in fact that we were locked down for two months.
Some of the biggest and most important milestones in our lives were deemed “non-essential” by the health experts, including funerals, weddings, religious services, graduations, doctor visits, and cancer screenings, among others (although cannabis and alcohol were deemed “essential”). And, by and large, we followed these admonitions and health orders.
But Harmon loses his credibility when he stated “…the COVID-19 pandemic cannot serve as a convenient barrier against anti-racist action.” Convenient barrier? Did the virus change its fundamental characteristics overnight? You can’t have it both ways.
I am hardly an expert on public health matters and policy, but it seems to me that trust and credibility are vitally important to ensuring public confidence in these situations. My trust has been damaged, and I think I am not alone in my position. This has significant implications as we potentially deal with a “second wave” as well as the challenges of a new vaccine. I want a “health umpire” calling balls and strikes, not a social scientist and politician. Our lives may depend on it.
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