Dave Ruthenberg is one of the best writers at the Enid News & Eagle, and a great sports editor. But I disagree with Dave’s recent opinions.

He said shutdowns were “under the guise of protecting us all” (Column, “Unmasking the political tyrants,” Nov. 19, 2020). “Under the guise” of child safety car seats, families are also protected.

Dave says Stitt’s restrictions are, “seemingly randomly imposed … in a panicked response to an uptick in COVID-19 numbers.”

Restrictions are recommended by respected scientists and are not random.

It isn’t a panicked response to be aware of more than 339,000 dead Americans, including 2,453 dead Oklahomans. COVID has upticked!

Power intoxication is not in it. Leaders recognize more than 339,000 dead Americans as a sobering reminder of responsibility. Public health and safety are not specious, but real. Dead Americans are really dead; they are the victims of an inhuman, faceless virus.

In law school, I learned about jural correlatives: for every right (and liberty), there is a corresponding duty. Drive a car: seat belt, stop sign, speed limit, tag and driver’s license.

There is no fundamental right or constitutional freedom (or religious liberty) to spread COVID infection. Archbishop Vigano and Justice Alito are mistaken. I have been going to church on TV since February.

The right to earn a living or go to church doesn’t encompass the right to spread COVID infection. We should as a community and as Americans, do everything we can to help workers and businesses cope with disruption caused by COVID-19. Even Dave. Remember, Dave is the sports editor; cancelled sports affect Dave’s job.

Dave writes it is, “a virus with a 99% or better recovery rate for most Americans.” But not for the dead 339,000. And “recovery” often includes serious long-term health problems, heart damage, fatigue, hair loss, depression.

That’s not much of a recovery.

Margaret Tivis Warren


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