Currently, more Americans die daily from Covid-19, than perished on 9/11, or Pearl Harbor. The good news is that the majority of Covid deaths are preventable when citizens intentionally choose to responsibly adhere to safety protocols. This reality has made many of us grow tired of anti-maskers lamenting “wearing a mask violates my rights.” We need to be equally focused on acting responsibly as we are about protecting our rights.
A key governmental role is to enact laws to protect people. New Yorkers have the right to smoke but not in bars, restaurants or schools. We can bear arms, but most do so responsibly. In On Liberty, British philosopher John Stuart Mill, indicated that prior to democracies, populations became rebellious as a form of “protection against the tyranny of political rulers.” Our current leaders did not earn their seats through inheritance or conquest. They earned their authority from us exercising our right to vote. Now we have the responsibility of following their lead. Is wearing a mask really a “tyrannical” requirement?
President Bush is responsible for the death of Saddam Hussein, President Obama is responsible for the death of Bin Laden. Irresponsible behavior has killed over 330,000 Americans during the pandemic of 2020. In the sentiment of President Kennedy, maybe we should “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Responsible behavior seems a good place to start.