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Leaders deal with the COVID-19 pandemic like drug sellers

If you’re one of many tens of millions of Individuals who refuse to get vaccinated, assume masks mandates infringe in your constitutional rights and the one people you need to socially distance from are those that don’t agree with you, this visitor opinion isn’t for you. It’s directed at these in management positions — enterprise, instructional, media, neighborhood and spiritual leaders and elected officers.  



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Protesters gather for a rally against COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates at the Oregon State Capitol on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021 in Salem, Ore. The event took place a day after the statewide indoor mask mandate was implemented again.


© ABIGAIL DOLLINS / STATESMAN JOURNAL
Protesters collect for a rally towards COVID-19 masks and vaccine mandates on the Oregon State Capitol on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021 in Salem, Ore. The occasion befell a day after the statewide indoor masks mandate was carried out once more.

My particular concern is about these leaders who’ve informed their constituents, prospects, members or followers that the pandemic is behind us, and they need to be at liberty to do as they please. That our nation ought to absolutely reopen for enterprise as standard regardless of the persistence of COVID-19 and its variants, that vaccination necessities, masks mandates and distancing are for the weak and are anti-American. 

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This is for these authorities officers who’ve forbidden by regulation different leaders and professionals (together with native college districts and workers) from exercising their finest judgment, those that are fast to wield their energy to intimidate academics whereas governing weakly within the face of the actual enemy, COVID-19.

Greater than 650,000 Individuals and counting (3,569 in Oregon; 388 in Marion County alone) have fallen to that enemy. However you’ve bought this pandemic below management?

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Effectively, after a lot studying and listening to what you’ve mentioned and accomplished (or not accomplished) through the pandemic, I’ve come to understand that you’re not solely failed leaders. You’re extra like drug sellers.  

Like a drug seller, a lot of what you might be saying and doing concerning the pandemic is harmful.

You promote the demise of the very individuals you declare to be main, whilst you demand their allegiance and take their cash. Like a drug seller, you con with out conscience people who put their belief in you. And also you foist untold burdens onto others — particularly the front-line emergency responders and hospital workers you name heroes — whose companies your followers desperately want as extra of them get sick, are debilitated and lay dying. Lots of your followers bought hooked on and staked their lives in your simplistic gross sales pitches, and misplaced.

The medicine you might be promoting, weird manufacturers of “freedom” and “rights” come with out obligations.

After all, freedom and particular person rights are valuable to all Individuals. However these include cheap limits to people dwelling in a democratic society, as our founders correctly proclaimed.

Our Structure begins with: “We the individuals of the US, so as to type a extra excellent union…” (not “Me, the American who has the proper to do as I please…”). The signers of the Declaration of Independence concluded by stating: “And for the help of this Declaration … we mutually pledge to one another our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Our democracy is predicated on the power and spirit of the person and the collective, usually requiring a fragile stability and generally our going past self to think about the widespread good. 

The place is your promotion of the widespread good, when individuals — those that take your recommendation to not put on a masks or distance or get a vaccine — fall sick or die? The place is your sacred honor once you demonize those that name in your followers to take their private obligations as significantly as their rights? 

Like drug sellers, you present little regard for whether or not your followers stay or die.  So long as sufficient of them vote for you, donate to your causes, purchase your merchandise, chant your praises, that’s apparently ok for you. 

Instead of you, we want actual leaders like those that have proven the braveness to inform us the plain reality even once we don’t need to hear it. We’d like extra leaders who will rise to the challenges of uniting us on this shared battle for our lives. 

For 18 months now, you’ve confirmed no match for COVID-19. Certainly, you might have abdicated your obligations and launched into a pathetic, self-serving path. 

And someday you may be known as to account. 



a man in a suit standing in front of a building: Tom Scheuermann


© Courtesy of Tom Scheuermann
Tom Scheuermann

Salem resident Tom Scheuermann is husband, father of two, an educator and lawyer. You might attain him at [email protected]

This text initially appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Leaders deal with the COVID-19 pandemic like drug sellers

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